Banksy’s iconic street art comes to life in Manila

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Starting May 14, the renowned and thought-provoking street art of Banksy, the elusive graffiti artist, will be brought to life in an immersive exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.

Partnering with the Banksy Universe Collective, the museum has recreated the subversive and politically charged works of the anonymous artist, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to explore Banksy’s art and delve into the social, political, and domestic issues it confronts.

Bambina Olivares, head of special projects and exhibitions, emphasized the significance of bringing Banksy’s art to Manila, stating, “We are aware we have to travel, especially to Europe, to see his work… How many of us get to do that? How many of us have that chance to understand the work of Banksy contextualised throughout the different stages of his career?”

While the exhibition is not officially endorsed by Banksy, it features a curated collection of works that trace the trajectory of his career, offering visitors insight into his themes and the transformative power of art.

Olivares acknowledged the irony of showcasing Banksy’s work in a museum, recognising the institution’s role in upholding the status quo that Banksy often critiques. 

However, she emphasised that the exhibit is a celebration and tribute to Banksy’s impact on elevating graffiti into art.

The exhibition, titled Banksy Universe/Manila 2024, will run for six months.

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