News is just breaking that Banksy is on the verge of revealing a new pop-up show on his home turf of the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare. The huge installation (created under the guise of a Hollywood film shoot) has been photographed and is rumored to open this Friday 21st August. Early suggestions are he’s calling it Dismaland, and so fair appears to include a creepy Disney-esque castle and giant horse sculpture – a pun on “super mare” perhaps?
We asked Banksy biographer Will Ellsworth-Jones for his take on the rumours.
Did you expect Bansky to pull of a new sculptural installation piece like this? The word had been out that he was planning a big show of some kind – after all it’s almost two years since his last big show in New York. I thought it might be in another city like Paris – but part of the pleasure of Banksy is the surprises he pulls out of the hat.
There has been less excitement about Banksy than a couple of years back but of course this show will put him right back in the headlines. In many ways he is a pioneer, no longer a street artist in the traditional sense, but not succumbing to the lure of the big moneyed galleries. He establishes his own pop up gallery on the street – still a guerilla artist but in a unique way.
Are all art critics snobbish about Bansky. What will the art critics make of this new coup – Bansky for the Turner Prize? I imagine the last thing Banksy wants is the Turner Prize – that would pull him right into the established art scene. The critics will probably say it’s fun, and amazing to pull it off but they will continue to put him in the same bracket as Vettriano. They are both the most popular artists in Britain and therefore somehow their work is no good because it is too ‘accessible.’ And they are wrong. I am not a fan of Vettriano but I am a fan of Banksy.
Rumour has it that Banksy is curating the show and not necessarily releasing his own work… so we’ll have to sit tight until Friday to find out! Watch this space.