banksy toronto parody

Banksy exhibit parody to open across from Banksy exhibit

An exhibition of the political artist Banksy's work, produced by a former manager without the painter's permission, has proven quite successful since opening in Toronto last month with more than 70,000 tickets sold.

So successful has the attraction been, in fact, that it’s spawned a mini-industry of its own: The art of making fun of The Art of Banksy.

From sharing photos of snarky parking signs and scathing reviews to gleefully watching footage of someone steal a USD$45,000 print, there's a solid contingent of Banksy fans who seem to really enjoy all the criticism of this "cheap, exploitative, visually clichéd, thematically just-north-of-vacuous" show.

As local artist Tharanga Ramanayake put on the placard for a work he snuck into the exhibit last week: "Theft is bringing street art inside and then charging an admission fee."

This weekend, Banksy fans who feel that paying $35 to look at prints of public art is... well, not very Banksy-like, can enjoy the exhibit at 213 Sterling Road in a way that even the most staunch anti-capitalist would approve of.

The "Banksy Exhibit" Exhibit, hosted by Toronto creatives Naomi Belcamino and Dave McKay on Saturday between 1 and 3 p.m., is described on Facebook as a "meta interactive art experience." 

"Satirical in nature, The 'Banksy Exhibit' Exhibit is a tongue-in-cheek, playful art show being temporarily set up across the street from the Banksy Exhibit in a renegade, guerilla style," reads the event's description.

"The art? It's the people in line across the street! Come view them in real time. Be a part of a hilarious spectacle of irony and skeptical post-modernism."

Nearly 300 people have indicated their interest so far, with 60 confirming their attendance on Facebook. One commenter did note on the event page that lineups are now more rare to see outside the Sterling Road gallery, as "they made more room inside so peeps not have to wait out in hot sun."

Either way, it's totally free to attend, and really funny concept.

Those who actually want to see inside The Art of Banksy can still buy tickets, for the record. The exhibit has been extended until August 19, due to popular demand.

Lead photo by

Inna Gertsberg

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