Banksy, public prankster, brilliant impresario, painter of animals – his official shows demonstrate a flair for the unexpected venue and fascination with chicken nuggets.
1. Severnshed Restaurant, Bristol Docks, 2000 – his first show of canvases and a move away from painting on walls. One of the ‘Self Portraits’ depicted him with a monkey’s head holding two spray cans. It sold for £198,000 in 2007. Listen to the audio interview with Banksy from the time, here.
2. Peace is tough, The Arches, Glasgow, 2001 – a group show with Jamie Reid, the artist who made the Never Mind the Bollocks album cover for The Sex Pistols. A little-attended show in an old nightclub, but Banksy made important pieces for it, such as ‘Monkey Queen’ – a portrait of The Queen reimagined as a primate, which is available through MyArtBroker.
3. Santa’s Ghetto, Dragon Bar, London, 2002 – The first of a series of small Christmas shows offering ‘gift wrapped trinkets of vandalism’. Banksy took over the top room of a pub and covered the walls in canvases, selling for about £300 each.
4. Turf War, Kingsland Road, London, 2003 – Banksy painted straight onto live animals (cows, sheep) in a show in a warehouse in East London. An animal rights activist chained herself to the railings to protest, generating huge publicity.
5. Crude Oils, 100 Westbourne Grove, London, 2005 – 164 live rats scurried around customized versions of shop-bought oil paintings.