Street artist Banksy has always been known for his secrecy, and Austin will get a taste of that when the new immersive art exhibition, Banksyland, comes to the city for a brief stint, July 22-24.
Taking place in a secret location somewhere in Austin that will be revealed to ticketholders only two weeks before the opening of the event, Banksyland is an international touring exhibition that immerses audiences in the works of the elusive artist, according to the event website. As of now, the only hint we have is an Austin ZIP code: 78712, which encompasses parts of the University of Texas campus.
The exhibit, also scheduled to be in the Dallas Arts District, June 24-July 4, and Houston, August 12-14, features more than 80 pieces and installations, including original and studio works, salvaged street artworks, and never-before-seen immersive installations.
Despite having produced art since the 1990s, Banksy’s identity remains unknown. He is understood to have been born in Bristol, England in the mid-1970s and emerged from Bristol’s graffiti and street art scene. His work came to be known after several high-profile conceptual stunts, including the illegal placement of subversive pieces inside some of the art world’s most hallowed galleries. Perhaps his most famous prank was when he installed an automatic shredder inside the frame of his iconic Balloon Girl painting, causing the the piece to self destruct upon its sale at auction.
Banksy’s most recognizable works are stenciled graffitis that combine mundane imagery juxtaposed with unexpected objects and slogans. Sometimes cynical, sometimes hopeful, Banksy’s work is decidedly political, taking aim at militarism, consumerism, capitalism, and greed. His iconic stencil pieces depicting rats, apes, and policemen have been spotted throughout the globe, drawing widespread attention wherever they appear.
The Austin event will take place over three days, July 22-24, with multiple time slots starting at 12 pm each day. Tickets range from $22-$59 and are now on sale at banksyland.com.
The exhibition is produced by One Thousand Ways, an international experiential arts collective specializing in innovative immersive events.
Banksy is the latest artist to get an immersive treatment in Texas, including the popular "Beyond Van Gogh" experience at Austin's Circuit of The Americas.