In an ambitious undertaking, the Keszler Gallery (with a Manhattan location on Madison Avenue) has acquired a number of original Banksy street works, some weighing several tons, for an exhibition in Southampton this month. Also included in the exhibition are a number of original prints. Many of the street works are sections of concrete walls gathered from around the globe, which are too heavy to exhibit in the gallery’s two Southampton locations. For this exhibit, the gallery has leased the town’s original power plant to house the art during this show. Being huge Banksy fans, Geoffrey and I made the trek out to Southampton this past Saturday for the opening reception and it turned out to be well worth the haul!
Geoffrey was lucky enough to see the huge Banksy exhibit at the museum in Bristol, England a couple of years ago but, aside from the Village Pet Store and perhaps one or two isolated pieces in a group show, this was my first experience seeing a Banksy collection in a gallery setting. The space for this show is very fitting as it is an abandoned power plant whose high ceilings, shattered windows, rough-hewn doorways and concrete walls make the perfect gallery setting for some of these “canvases” that are basically concrete slabs themselves.
One of the larger works on display is Stop & Search (see above) which was executed in Bethlehem when Banksy returned to the area after his publicized installation in 2005 of nine murals on the controversial West Bank Barrier. These works were later removed and transported to London for restoration. Another of these large scale pieces, Wet Dog, is also on display in Southampton.
Adding to the evening’s buzz created by just being around such storied art was the awesome set of party tunes provided by DJ Twilo, free flowing cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. Art Party in the Hamptons!
See Additional Pictures of Geoffrey and Me Posing with Banksy’s Art and find out more about the Exhibit after the Jump!