Banksy’s works on show in Madrid without his approval

The buyer of a work by street artist Banksy that was partially destroyed moments after it sold has gone through with the purchase at Sotheby's auction house. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018
0

Banksy’s works on show in Madrid without his approval

  • The show’s curator Alexander Nachkebiya describes Banksy as “a phenomenon and one of the most brilliant and important artist of our epoch.”

Madrid: Banksy has been Banksied.
The guerilla artist who puts up his work in public spaces without asking authorization is the subject of a new show in Madrid featuring his works — without his authorization.
“Genius or Vandal?” opened Thursday at the Ifema center in the Spanish capital and will run until March 10.
It has already pulled in half a million visitors at its previous venues Moscow and Saint Petersburg, according to a statement from the organizers.
The show’s curator Alexander Nachkebiya, who assembled the works from private collectors, describes Banksy as “a phenomenon and one of the most brilliant and important artist of our epoch.”
The street artist himself remains something of an enigma. All he has revealed about himself is that he is British and that his home town is Bristol in southeast England.
But the dark wit of his art and a certain talent for self-promotion has helped him build up an international reputation, to the point that his works have fetched more than a million pounds.
In August, Banksy used his Instagram account — 5.1 million followers — to make his position clear on the original Moscow show.
He posted an exchange of messages between him and a follower who tipped him off to the unauthorized exhibition.
Told they were charging a £20 ($25, €22) entrance free, Bansky replied: “I wish I could find it funny. What’s the opposite of LOL?“
But at the suggestion that he put out a statement denouncing the fact that it was made to look like an official show, he replied: .”..not sure I’m the best person to complain about people putting up pictures without getting permission.”
Nevertheless, his website does carry a message warning visitors about this and other shows. “They’ve been organized entirely without the artist’s knowledge or involvement. Please treat them accordingly.”
In the meantime, his subversive style continues to attract admirers.
His most recent stunt was at the October auction of one of his works, “Girl with Balloon,” at Sotheby’s in London.
Moments after it sold for £1,042,000 — a joint record for the maverick artist — it unexpectedly passed through a shredder hidden in the frame.
Only partially destroyed, the buyer went through with the purchase and some art experts said it was probably now worth more than it had been before the stunt.


Bangladesh actress ordered to take down ‘vulgar’ social media images

Updated 4 min 24 sec ago
0

Bangladesh actress ordered to take down ‘vulgar’ social media images

  • Social media star Sanai Mahbub was ordered to attend a Dhaka police station on Sunday
  • It is believed to be the first case of its kind to hit the national entertainment industry
DHAKA: Provocative selfies earned Bangladeshi social media star Sanai Mahbub a reprimand from Bangladesh police on Monday, as authorities in the conservative Muslim country step up their campaign against adult content online.
The aspiring actress, who regularly posts suggestive but fully-clothed photographs on social media platforms, hit local headlines last year after becoming the first Bangladeshi celebrity to announce that she had undergone breast enhancement surgery.
In what is believed to be the first case of its kind to hit the national entertainment industry, the 21-year-old was ordered to attend a Dhaka police station on Sunday and told to pull the photos.
Nazmul Islam, a senior official of the Dhaka police cyber-crime unit, said the actress was “counselled” by officers and told to remove the “vulgar” content.
“We highly respect freedom of speech in a democratic system. But her content has drawn protests from angry parents,” Islam, said, adding that some of her images could be “illegal” under the country’s pornography laws.
“We are tirelessly working to create a free and safe Internet for everyone. So, we don’t want content which goes against our social norms, especially for children,” he said.
Bangladesh has launched a crackdown on Internet pornography in recent weeks, with telecoms regulators ordering service providers to block hundreds of adult websites.
Mahbub said she did not think her images were “adult only.”
“These are just part of my modelling career and part of my freedom,” she said.
“Some of my content has faced widespread criticism because of the alleged 18+ nature.” But she said the posts were “misunderstood” and she had “no intention of hurting social norms.”