Lonely Planet Writer

Get a sneak peek inside the unauthorised Banksy exhibition in Melbourne

While Banksy’s identity may not be known, fans of the British street artist can get a little bit closer to his works at a new exhibition in Melbourne.

Curator and former manager of Banksy Steve Lazarides speaks during a media preview of The Art of Banksy Exhibition at Federation Square on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
Curator and former manager of Banksy Steve Lazarides speaks during a media preview of The Art of Banksy Exhibition at Federation Square on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Image by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

However, the 80-piece display – the largest collection of the Bansky’s works to be shown in Australia – does not actually have the approval of the elusive artist.

 Art work from famous street artist Banksy is displayed during a media preview of The Art of Banksy Exhibition at Federation Square on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
Art work from famous street artist Banksy is displayed during a media preview of The Art of Banksy Exhibition at Federation Square on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Image by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The exhibition is curated by Steve Lazarides, who had formerly been Banksy’s agent. However, Banksy’s website now notes that the artist is not “represented by Steve Lazarides or any other commercial gallery”. Some of the pieces are from Lazarides personal collection, but the artist had no involvement in the show, reports the Guardian. Lazarides told ABC in Australia that all the works were sold commercially and nothing was taken from the streets against Banksy’s wishes.

Curator and former manager of Banksy Steve Lazarides speaks during a media preview of The Art of Banksy Exhibition at Federation Square on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
Curator and former manager of Banksy Steve Lazarides speaks during a media preview of The Art of Banksy Exhibition at Federation Square on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Image by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The Melbourne show won’t be limited to art, as there will also be food trucks and an outdoor area that will host live DJs on the weekends. The Art of Banksy Exhibition is on until 22 January at The Paddock in Federation Square. And while the exhibition’s website notes that, “Banksy is known for his anti-capitalism messages”, adult tickets to the show cost $30, and yes, there is a gift shop.

 The gift shop is seen during a media preview of The Art of Banksy Exhibition at Federation Square on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
The gift shop is seen during a media preview of The Art of Banksy Exhibition at Federation Square on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Image by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

But it’s not the first unauthorised Banksy show; his works have recently been shown in exhibitions in Amsterdam and Rome.