With the amount of tourists that flow through Miami each month, there’s no doubt that the “Art of Banksy” Exhibit in the Magic City Casino is bringing in some serious cash for the organizers. But charging an entry fee to see works by an artist that goes out of his way to make his work available to the public for free just feels evil, even for Miami.
The organizers admit on their website that Banksy does not approve of this exhibit. A prominent disclaimer on the site reads, “This exhibition is not authorized by Banksy and not curated in collaboration with the artist. The Art of Banksy exhibit has all his iconic works on display, like Laugh Now, Girl with Balloon, Pulp Fiction, Flower Thrower, Monkey Queen, Flag Wall, Soup Can and many more. Banksy is well known for his outdoor art which can be found in streets all around the world. London even has maps marking the locations where you can find his pieces, many of which are monitored against vandalism. Banksy’s indoor pieces – original and unique works on canvas, wood and paper – have so far been less exposed. You will now find these indoor pieces, on loan from collectors, at The Art of Banksy Miami.”
A more succinct disclaimer appears on Banksy’s Official Website:
“Members of the public should be aware there has been a recent spate of Banksy exhibitions none of which are consensual. They‘ve been organised entirely without the artist’s knowledge or involvement. Please treat them accordingly.” And the show isn’t only in Miami. Similar Banksy exhibits are taking place in Milan, Toronto, Berlin, Istanbul, Moscow and other cities around the world.
But, it’s obvious that most Banksy fans visiting the exhibit don’t know or don’t care that the mysterious street artist doesn’t approve. A recent article published in the Miami New Times published some responses from Banksy fans when they were asked why they visited the exhibit. The common theme in the responses was, “I don’t think I’ll ever have the chance to see so many in one place.”