Back-to-back Banksy exhibits featuring works by the secretive street artist are unfolding in Toronto.
But observers are torn over the way his subversive messages are being portrayed.
The first is a free, open-air show in the city’s tony Yorkville Village, where two pieces have been installed amid a luxury retail strip home to designer brands that include Chanel, Tiffany and Prada.
The second is set to take over a factory space in an up-and-coming neighbourhood billed as an emerging art hub, however, many are balking at the $35 entry fee being charged by promoters Live Nation and Starvox Exhibits.
The North American premiere of The Art of Banksy, beginning Wednesday and running to July 11, is a $35-million exhibit of 80 original works curated by Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides.
It’s set to include famous images Balloon Girl, in which a young girl is letting go of a heart-shaped balloon; Flag Wall, described as an “urbanized take on the famous picture of soldiers raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima;” and Laugh Now —words emblazoned on a sandwich board slung over a monkey.