takin' it to the streets

Art of Banksy draws up an immersive Houston event with signature secrecy

Art of Banksy draws up immersive Houston event with signature secrecy

Banksyland
Banksyland will be somewhere in the UT Austin area July 22-24. Photo courtesy of One Thousand Ways

Street artist Banksy has always been known for his secrecy, and Houston will get a taste of that when the new immersive art exhibition, Banksyland, comes to the city for a brief stint, August 12-14.

Taking place in a secret location somewhere in Houston that will be revealed to ticketholders only two weeks before the opening of the event, Banksyland is an international touring exhibition that immerses audiences in the works of the elusive artist, according to the event website. As of now, the only hint we have is an Houston ZIP code: 77002, which clearly suggests downtown.

The exhibit, also scheduled to be in the Dallas Arts District, June 24-July 4, and Austin, July 22-24, features more than 80 pieces and installations, including original and studio works, salvaged street artworks, and never-before-seen immersive installations.

Despite having produced art since the 1990s, Banksy’s identity remains unknown. He is understood to have been born in Bristol, England in the mid-1970s and emerged from Bristol’s graffiti and street art scene. His work came to be known after several high-profile conceptual stunts, including the illegal placement of subversive pieces inside some of the art world’s most hallowed galleries. Perhaps his most famous prank was when he installed an automatic shredder inside the frame of his iconic Balloon Girl painting, causing the the piece to self destruct upon its sale at auction.

Banksy’s most recognizable works are stenciled graffitis that combine mundane imagery juxtaposed with unexpected objects and slogans. Sometimes cynical, sometimes hopeful, Banksy’s work is decidedly political, taking aim at militarism, consumerism, capitalism, and greed. His iconic stencil pieces depicting rats, apes, and policemen have been spotted throughout the globe, drawing widespread attention wherever they appear.

The Houston event will take place over three days, August 12-14, with multiple time slots starting at 12 pm each day. Tickets range from $22-$59 and are now on sale at banksyland.com.

The exhibition is produced by One Thousand Ways, an international experiential arts collective specializing in innovative immersive events.

Banksy is the latest artist to get an immersive treatment in Texas. Here in Houston, fans have clamored to immersive experiences celebrating Vincent Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo.