The Art of Banksy in Istanbul

January 12, 2016

Drawing attention of global art public with his satirical street art and subversive epigrams, the work of the mysterious British artist that goes by the name of Banksy will be exhibited in Istanbul Global Karaköy. This exclusive exhibition will be introduced with a ceremony on January 13, and will be opened to the public on January 14. Taking the viewers to the streets of London, Banksy’s graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique are sure to take the Istanbul audience out of their normal routine. Marking the grand opening of the gallery itself, the biggest collection of The Art of Banksy will be on view for four full months.

banksy istanbul
Banksy - Swinger, 2008. Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans via

The Mystery of Banksy

More than just an English-based graffiti artist, Banksy is known as a political activist and a film director, yet his real identity is unknown. This hasn’t stopped him from achieving world-wide renown, with his work being widely recognized regardless of their field. Banksy’s first film Exit Through the Gift Shop made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011. In 2014, he received the Person of the Year award at the 2014 Webby Awards. More so, all of his graffiti work adorn the streets, walls and bridges of London and other cities throughout the world. The work to be featured at Istanbul exhibition this January is worth over 20 million pounds alone, and some of the 100 pieces to be displayed include Girl with a Red BalloonLaugh Now and Maid in London.

banksy istanbul
Banksy - Grim Reaper, 2005. Photo by Adrian Pingstone via

The Value of Publicly Available Art

Banksy does not sell photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti, and given he displays his art on publicly visible surfaces and their substantial monetary value, some art auctioneers have tried to sell his art in the past, leaving the winning bidder with resolving the problem of acquiring the art from its original location. In 2011, a New York city gallery owner Stephan Keszler even cut some of Banksy’s work off building walls, attempting to sell them at prices ranging from $40,000 - $750,000. The sale didn’t go so well, and the gallery owner was heavily criticized by both Banksy and the general art public for removing the art pieces from their contextual surroundings. The Miami Art Fair executives had a different opinion, and where the Brooklyn Museum declined to take one of Banksy’s “cut off” art pieces for free, the 2012 Art Miami welcomed the works and displayed them to a record number of visitors despite some art lovers boycotting the fair.

banksy istanbul
Banksy - King Robbo, 2009. Photo by Matt Brown via

Banksy Exhibition at Global Karaköy in Istanbul

With the contributions of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, The Art of Banksy exhibition is sponsored by Global Investment Holding, Istanbul Entertainment Group and Piu Entertainment. Bringing together art lovers not just from Istanbul, the exhibition opens for public on January 14, 2016, and will last for four months. Showcasing striking themes on everyday locations, the widely known work of an unknown man going by the name of Banksy is sure to take you on a journey of visual excitement.

What do you think of Banksy's work, and the controversy of selling street art at auctions? Tell us on our Facebook page!

Featured image: Banksy - Girl with a Balloon, 2002. Photo via All images used for demonstrative purposes only.

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