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Visiting Banksyland

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Visiting Banksyland

Known for his pseudonymous street art, Banksy’s pieces began popping up in the 1990s in England. The majority of his work depicts both social and political commentary, which has been moving viewers since the anonymous artists’ origin. Banksy is widely known for the shredding of his piece "Girl With Balloon" at a live auction in London in 2018. Surprisingly, the destruction of the piece made it worth even more, selling for $25.4 million at an auction.

Fortunately for us, we were able to view a collection of Banksy’s works and installations at Banksyland at the Rittenhouse Filmworks in Philadelphia this past Labor Day Weekend. The immersive exhibit was put together by One Thousand Ways, who created an unforgettable experience. All of the works in the exhibit are privately owned pieces from more than 30 locations across the world, that the team made into the exhibit.

From the moment we walked into the room, you could sense the passion that went into each and every piece. The exhibit was filled with various mixed-medium pieces, including hand-screened on print paper, sculptures, and paintings. What helped invoke emotions the most while viewing the works was not only the atmosphere, but the music echoing throughout the room.

We got chills reading the different stories behind the pieces. A work that stood out most to us was titled “Migrant Girl in Paris” created in 2017, whose medium was spray paint on a wall. The painting depicted a young girl spray painting a pink flower-like pattern on a wall, covering up a swastika. What made this piece so incredibly powerful was both the contrast of the girl’s pink spray paint from the hateful symbol on the wall, but also the raw emotion across her face.

Aside from compelling paintings, the exhibit had several large and small sculptures to view, as well as other fun immersive parts including a monkey with a detonator attached to bananas strung across the ceiling. Both humorous and emotional, this showcase was a one-in-a-lifetime experience.

Having already visited multiple cities across the US, Banksyland is making the next stops in Columbus, OH, Nashville, TN and potentially somewhere in Florida. If you ever have the opportunity to see any of Banksy’s works, do it. You will not be disappointed.

Kayla Marra

Copyright ©2022 All rights reserved. Posted: September 5, 2022.

Photos by Kayla Marra © 2022

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