UK///PURE HYPE///”BANKSY vs WARHOL”…
“Wow, has it really come to this—already?” That was the question on our minds here at ST as the farce that is “Banksy vs Warhol” (a third-party show unsanctioned by either artist’s camp) opened at THE HOSPITAL gallery in London last Friday. The collection of privately owned works by the two Pop artists (including a London street piece by Banksy hijacked by a fan with a blowtorch) served to compare and somehow correlate the generationally removed pair as their influence on modern culture reaches near-ubiquity in the public consciousness. Long the leader of smart streetwise rebellion, Banksy—mainly at the hands of his fans and third party dealers and auction houses—is fast approaching the point of complete oversaturation (he hit “fad” status ages ago) and is probably no more than a step away from becoming tourist art (see below). The show’s boring, mostly late-period Warhols of the coffee mug and museum tote bag variety were especially un-thrilling, but will likely bring their owners a nice return as they’re flipped through the gallery for what must be the millionth time apiece. With Banksy’s work turning over with steady regularity on the secondary market at prices up to 20 times their estimates, it can’t be long before his own bottom line drops out like the LA real estate market. The only thing that could have made this show cool would have been a gang of football hooligans breaking in and blasting it all with paintball guns. The imposter spraypainting a faux Banksy Marilyn Monroe stencil on the sidewalk outside the show after it opened (which was quickly framed and cordoned off with red velvet ropes by the gallery) certainly didn’t…
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