Miami is about to get a huge collection of world class art from Banksy. Here’s what we know.

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Who says Miami isn’t a world class city?

Don’t answer that question.

No, seriously. We are getting a big time exhibit of works by legendary British street artist Banksy and this makes us proud to live here, despite the insanity that goes on on a daily basis. For all the ink he receives, the enigmatic, playful Banksy still remains anonymous, and we like that, too.

“The Art of Banksy,” a showcase featuring 80 of his original works, will make its U.S. debut in Miami for Art Basel on Dec. 1. Boom! It will be housed inside Magic City Studios at 6301 NE 4th Avenue, in an area currently known as the Magic City Innovation District in Little Haiti. The 20,000 square foot raw warehouse space was specifically chosen as it resembles spaces where Banksy and Steve Lazarides previously mounted shows together, organizers say.

The vast collection has already generated buzz worldwide in hot spots like Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Auckland and most recently in Toronto.

Banksy, whose identity is the art world’s biggest secret, is best known for his graffiti-influenced stencil technique, often combined with anti-establishment slogans.

Back in 2013, The New York Times said Banksy’s pieces evoke “a coy playfulness — a desire to goad viewers into rethinking their surroundings [and] acknowledge the absurdities of closely held preconceptions.”

Not much has changed since then.

Speaking of playful, Banksy recently made headlines earlier this month  when, right after  the prankster’s “Girl With Balloon,” sold at a Sotheby’s London auction, it began to self-destruct.  The interested party went ahead and bought it anyway for $1.4 million (not bad for some ripped paper).

Now we hear the incomplete shredding stunt was incomplete.

Banksy, who often wears a hoodie to disguise himself, recently posted a video to his website showing how the mechanism inside the picture frame was meant to work.

“The Art of Banksy” is curated by Steve Lazarides, the artist’s former agent, and  features pieces that were created for private art collectors and loaned out, such as paintings, prints, sculptures and other rarely seen pieces.

Included in the exhibition is the iconic stenciled “Balloon Girl,” as well as “Flag Wall,” an urbanized take on the famous picture of soldiers raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.

Lazarides is proud to be a part of this event, although (caveat) Banksy did not authorize it and the two haven’t spoken in years.

“There is no reason why there shouldn’t be a Banksy hanging in every single major contemporary art museum in the world,” he said in a statement. “He is the most powerful recognized artist of a generation that’s been completely ignored by the establishment thus far.”

Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase pre-sale tickets
until Friday.  General tickets from $34,99 go on sale beginning 10 a.m. Saturday at www.banksyexhibit.com.  Hours are Monday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Stay up-to-date by following @BanksyExhibit

 

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