Fans of British artist Banksy will have a chance to check out a collection of more than 150 pieces from the prolific street artist with the opening of The Art of Banksy: Without Limits at the Avid Xchange Music Factory on Friday, Feb. 25.
The touring exhibit, which has marked its North American debut with openings in Miami, Atlanta and now Charlotte, includes certified originals, prints, photos, lithographs, sculptures, murals, and video-mapping installations created exclusively for this exhibit.[Editor’s Note: The original version of this article did not include that this exhibit is NOT authorized by Banksy, and he has spoken against it.]
Installations in the Charlotte exhibit include “Dismaland,” from Banksy’s 2015 Bemusement Park pop-up; and “The Infinity Room,” which implements mirrors and video projections to present a mindfuck of a timeline for the anonymous artist’s work. The exhibit also includes 12 Banksy murals painstakingly recreated using the artist’s stencil style so as to provide the experience of seeing an original Banksy mural to those who can’t travel to his usual haunts.
Curator Guillermo Quintana led the rebuilding of the exhibit to fit the unique setting of the Charlotte venue, as he does in each city that Without Limits visits.
“This exhibition, for me, it’s like I have the ability to create and experience — every time a new one,” he told Queen City Nerve when we stopped by earlier in the week to see the progress Quintana and his team had made. “It’s not a copy-paste. I hate copy-paste. The one that we made in Atlanta is totally different than the one that we made in Miami, and the one in Miami is totally different from the one that we made over here.”
The Art of Banksy: Without Limits has appeared in cities such as Istanbul, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Antwerp, Berlin, Bucharest, Cluj, Budapest, Riyadh, Vienna, Warsaw, and Seoul during its European, Middle East, Asia and Australian tours.
For its North American debut, Quintana and others toured cities to check out their street art scenes. While Atlanta and Miami are known for street art — with neighborhoods like Cabbagetown and Wynwood, respectively, serving as tourist destinations thanks to the many murals — Charlotte was chosen due in large part to its potential, said Quintana.
“This kind of exhibition is cool to bring to the cities because you start to see street art in a different way. That is why we chose Charlotte,” he said.
“Charlotte is important because in this city, it’s growing, the street art. We took a tour before coming here, and we saw it. We saw some beautiful murals that you have here and maybe this exhibit will reach even more people, because I see a lot of white walls, brick walls, huge ones,” he continued, laughing. “We just wanted to say, ‘Do you mind just painting a mural right there?'”
In a release, exhibit founder Kemal Gurkaynak said he became a fan and advocate of Banksy’s because his work “has the power to unite people, ideas, values that can change the world for the better.”
“The Art of Banksy: Without Limits is not an exhibition but a show with a philosophy as Banksy loves to provoke, shock and even disturb society. He does it with humor and poetry indeed,” Gurkaynak stated in the release. “Banksy has the unique ability to express through his works some truths that most people don’t have the courage to say out loud. And, nowadays, we need to be sincere, empathetic and caring to one another more than ever. This is what Banksy’s art does.”
The Art of Banksy: Without Limits is expected to run for about three months, though it is regularly extended in cities where it sees a lot of engagement. For Quintana, the experience patrons get inside the exhibit isn’t as important as what they do after they leave.
“I really don’t fuckin’ care how people go inside the exhibit, I care about how they go outside,” he told Queen City Nerve. “This is not an Instagram exhibition, it’s not about TikTok. It’s more like, come over here and you have more than 100 artworks, at least two of them are going to make you think. And if you think, maybe you can change something and go on a different path.
“We are a society that, we need to change some things, and it’s a combination of the old school, the millennials, the Xennials, all these new generations, we need to do it together. That’s why this exhibition is for everyone.”
Tickets start at $27.20 and are available through Fever or the Art of Banksy website. The exhibition is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Become a Nerve Member: Get better connected and become a member of Queen City Nerve to support local journalism for as little as $5 per month. Our community journalism helps inform you through a range of diverse voices.
This work by Queen City Nerve is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.