Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art recently hosted a record-shattering exhibition by the enigmatic graffiti maestro, Banksy. With its doors open for a solid 10 weeks, the excitement was palpable, drawing in a whopping 180,000 visitors!
After a long 14-year hiatus, Banksy returned with his solo brilliance, smashing all previous records at Glasgow’s prestigious gallery. Not just a typical daytime affair, “Cut and Run” kept its doors open during weekend nights too. And guess what? Glasgow loved every moment of it, evident from the warm shout-out on the exhibition’s website.
Banksy’s creative journey
The exhibition was no ordinary spectacle. It drew the curtains on Banksy’s creative journey, showcasing raw sketches and breathing new life into his iconic stencils. But as is the case with Banksy, there’s always an aura of mystery. He’s kept us on our toes since his last face-to-face interview in 2003, staying anonymous, though some whispers suggest he hails from Bristol and is around the big 5-0.
Gareth James, the big boss at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, couldn’t contain his excitement. “Cut & Run has been a magnet, drawing people from every nook and cranny of the world, from eager school kids to spirited octogenarians.” True to James’ words, every opening saw hordes of art enthusiasts queuing up, with the museum reaching out to broader audiences, thanks to free tickets and extended hours.
Now, if you’re imagining a sea of smartphones capturing every corner, think again. Cameras and phones were a strict no-no. But James reassures, “Far from being annoyed, visitors seemed to relish the pure, undistracted viewing experience.”
Highlights of the exhibition
A meticulous model explaining the “shredding stunt” of Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ at Sotheby’s London in 2018. After fetching £1m, the artwork met an alarm-triggered shredder, halting only midway. Remember Stormzy’s Union flag stab vest at Glastonbury 2019? So are pieces from Bethlehem, showcasing a pillow fight between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian citizen.
This isn’t Banksy’s first tryst with Glasgow. Back in 2001, when he was yet to become a household name, he collaborated with Jamie Reid (of The Sex Pistols fame) for “Peace Is Tough” at The Arches.
But why Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art? Banksy’s got a soft spot for the place. A sign at the venue spills the beans. He’s in love with the statue outside, which sports a cone hat. It’s been that way for 40 years, and despite official efforts, the cone remains, with new ones popping up every time one’s removed!