Cut & Run: Banksy’s Highly Anticipated Solo Exhibition Unveils Iconic Stencils and Unprecedented Artistic Process

Cut & Run: Banksy’s Highly Anticipated Solo Exhibition Unveils Iconic Stencils and Unprecedented Artistic Process

A highly anticipated solo exhibition by the renowned graffiti artist Banksy is set to debut at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow. This marks Banksy’s first exhibition in 14 years and promises to unveil the stencils used to create many of his iconic artworks, offering an unprecedented glimpse into his artistic process.

Named “Cut & Run,” the exhibition has received official authorisation from the elusive street artist. It covers a work span from 1998 to today and showcases original artefacts, ephemera, and Banksy’s toilet. In an interview with the Herald, Banksy explained that he had kept these stencils hidden for years, fearing they could potentially serve as evidence in criminal damage charges. However, he now feels the time is right to display them in a gallery setting as works of art, questioning which act is considered the greater offence.

The primary aim of the exhibition is to shed light on the behind-the-scenes process involved in creating Banksy’s works. The artist has reimagined many of his famous pieces using the original stencils. Among them are notable works like Kissing Coppers, which originated on a wall of the Prince Albert pub in Brighton in 2004, and Mobile Lovers, which depicts a couple engaged in a hug while distractedly looking at their screens, created in Bristol in 2014.

In addition to these pieces, the exhibition will feature Stormzy’s iconic Union flag stab vest, worn during his headline performance at Glastonbury in 2019. Works from Bethlehem in the West Bank will also be showcased, including a depiction of a pillow fight between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian citizen.

One intriguing exhibition highlight is a detailed model illustrating how Banksy orchestrated the shredding of his Girl With Balloon painting. This audacious self-destruction occurred moments after the artwork was auctioned for £1 million at Sotheby’s in 2018, becoming one of the most remarkable stunts in art history—the partially shredded artwork sold for over £18.5 million a few years later.

Known for preserving his true identity, Banksy expressed his attraction to GoMA due to the presence of a traffic cone perennially perched on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue outside the gallery. Over the past four decades, the public has continually adorned the statue with this cone, transforming it into a Glasgow institution. Banksy considers it his favourite work of art in the UK, influencing his decision to bring the exhibition to GoMA.

The Cut & Run exhibition will debut on the 18th June and remains open for three months. Gareth James, the museum manager at GoMA, expressed his enthusiasm for this extraordinary collaboration, describing it as a “perfect fit for GoMA and the city.” Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow City Council, also praised the exhibition, emphasizing Banksy’s significant contribution to street art and how it has become an integral part of Glasgow’s cultural landscape, politics, and society.