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The Art of Banksy opens today

The Art of Banksy opens today

After Amsterdam, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Melbourne, The Art of Banksy exhibition opens today in Auckland:

The exhibition of the works of Banksy, the mysterious street artist who has overwhelmed the world, is on display at the
Aotea Centre

Auckland only | Aotea Centre | 5 January - 6 February
Tickets on sale at Ticketmaster

The international The Art of Banksy exhibition, which has been displayed in Melbourne, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and more, opens today at 10am.

This extraordinary collection of 89 pieces by one of the most intriguing and talked-about artists in modern history is on display at Auckland’s Aotea Centre until 6 February.

The exhibition, curated by the artist's former manager Steve Lazarides, displays the largest collection of Banksy's works, including the famous painting of the girl with the red balloon, known as "Girl and Balloon", the controversial work "Laugh Now" – a famous graffiti piece that depicts a monkey with a sign hanging from his neck with the words: "Laugh now, but one day we'll be in charge."

On loan from private collectors from throughout the world, this $40 million collection offers a rare opportunity for New Zealanders to enter Banksy’s world.

Tickets are on sale today via Ticketmaster.

Banksy, who refrains from revealing his identity and does not appear in public, is a painter, graffiti artist and social activist, considered one of the world's top political graffiti artists.

Banksy's satirical art and his subversive messages, which integrate cynical dark humor, are done using his unique stencil technique. His various works, which aside from paintings also include sculptures and special displays, have been displayed on city walls, bridges and streets throughout the world.

Banksy has said that he decided to adopt the stencil technique when, while hiding from police under a garbage truck.

“When I was 18 I spent one night trying to paint LATE AGAIN in big silver bubble letters on the side of a passenger train. British transport police showed up and I got ripped to shreds running away through a thorny bush. The rest of my mates made it to the car and disappeared so I spent over an hour hiding under a dumper truck with engine oil leaking all over me. As I lay there listening to the cops on the tracks I realised I had to cut my painting time in half or give up altogether. I was staring straight up at the stencilled plate on the bottom of a fuel tank when I realised I could just copy that style and make each letter three feet high.

I got home at last and crawled into bed next to my girlfriend. I told her I’d had an epiphany that night and she told me to stop taking that drug ‘cos it’s bad for your heart.”

Working with stencils is considered fast, and the large number of his works in the streets of Bristol quickly made him into part of the underground art movement, that developed in the area at the end of the 1980s.

Over the years, Banksy has carried out a considerable number of "pranks" against the art establishment, including secretly hanging his works inside various museums around the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Britain museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History.

“This is a one of a kind exhibition – you will never again have the opportunity to see so many works in one place. Once the exhibition is over, the artwork will be returned to 40 different art collectors around the world, and the chances that they will be displayed together again in the future are extremely slim”. - Steve Lazarides, curator

Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff said the exhibition was another example of Auckland’s growth as an exciting arts and culture destination for locals and visitors alike.

“Auckland has a vibrant art culture and this exciting exhibition of Banksy’s collection is a huge win for our city,” the Mayor said.

“I look forward to seeing Aucklanders embrace this opportunity to engage with works by one of the world’s most prolific, enigmatic and outspoken artists.”

"This isn’t one to miss" - HARPERS BAZAAR
"The Art of Banksy Exhibition says more about Banksy than Banksy ever could" - JUNKEE
"If it sounds epic, that’s because it is" - CONCRETE PLAYGROUND
"A fuck- off huge exhibition featuring the work of mysterious street artist Banksy" - PEDESTRIAN
"The Art Of Banksy will serve as a welcome reminder of the explosive impact of the artist’s works, and of the powerful potential of street art. And that can’t be a bad thing" - TIMEOUT

“A must see!” – MARIE CLAIRE
”Such a special opportunity to see works of the mysterious street artist” – VROUW/TELEGRAAF
“The Art of Banksy is a MUST for every art-lover. Get inspired! - COSMOPOLITAN
“It’s an experience you shouldn’t miss” – HELLO AMSTERDAM

The exhibition, suitable for the whole family, will be on display at Auckland’s Aotea Centre from 5 January to 6 February daily, including Auckland Anniversary Day and Waitangi Day. The exhibition is being brought to New Zealand through the partnership of Live Nation with Auckland Live and The Stetson Group.

About Live Nation Entertainment
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world's leading live entertainment company comprised of four market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, Artist Nation Management and Live Nation Media/Sponsorship. For additional information,

About The Stetson Group
Stewart and Tricia Macpherson formed Stetson Productions Ltd in October 1973. The Stetson Group is now in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the US. Both Stewart and Tricia have a single goal: to always have the best show on the stage at every

About Auckland Live
Auckland Live is a leader in live arts and entertainment and an active contributor to the vibrancy and creativity of Auckland. It champions Auckland internationally to secure big name shows and concerts, collaborates with national and international arts companies and festivals to present the best variety of performances, and introduces young people to the excitement of the stage.

Amazing Banksy graffiti

Girl with Balloon
Arguably Banksy’s most iconic piece, it appeared in South Bank, London in around 2002. The words ‘There Is Always Hope’ are written just behind a young girl, who can be seen reaching for a balloon in the shape of a heart.

Rage, Flower Thrower
This appeared in Jerusalem in 2003. To many people it is a symbol of peace and hope in the face of adversity and destruction. The masked rioter is throwing not a “Molotov Cocktail” but a bunch of flowers.

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