An unauthorized Banksy exhibition that has attracted over 1 million visitors since it began touring in 2016 has come under fire for being too light on actual Banksy works. Organizers have agreed to refund visitors who no longer wish to attend the Seoul presentation of “The Art of Banksy: Without Limits" following an outcry over the lack of original works.
According to promotional materials for the forthcoming U.S. edition, which is slated to open next month, the show includes “more than 110 of the artist’s works, such as his original art, prints on different kinds of materials, photos, sculptures, and much more. Some of his works have even been reproduced with his stencil technique especially for the exhibition.”
ArtNet reports that of the 150 artworks on view in Seoul, only 27 are originals. Park Bong-Su, a senior manager at the Seoul entertainment agency helping stage the show’s South Korean edition, told the Korea Herald, “There were some misunderstandings about the exhibition. We are preparing some leaflets that indicate which artworks are original.”
Banksy has repeatedly warned that the global exhibitions in his name are mostly unofficial and non-consensual. “They’ve been organised entirely without the artist's knowledge or involvement,” reads a dedicated page on the street artist’s website. “Please treat them accordingly.”
Nevertheless, the Seoul show does include some significant original sculptures from Banksy’s 2015 “Dismaland” theme park exhibition in the U.K., as well as authentic prints of Smiling Copper, Consumer Jesus (Christ with Shopping Bags), and Bomb Hugger.