Well, I had known about this before it even happened and I apologize for not writing about this earlier. Banksy held a one-of-a-kind show this week simply titled, ‘Cans Festival’ (a word play on the Cannes film festival). He invited more than 3 dozen international artists but also encouraged visitors to contribute their own grafitti starting Saturday. The festival was held in an apparently rarely used South London tunnel. Banksy told the Times of London, “I’m hoping we can transform a dark forgotten filth pit into an oasis of beautiful art – in a dark forgotten filth pit.”
The interesting thing to note here as it is a sharp turn in the career of the outlaw artist is that the show was approved and facilitated by Eurostar. Eurostart manages tunnel as it lies under an old train platform belonging to them at Waterloo Station. It’s an interesting development for Banksy as he has in the past been considered a wanted man by London authorities. It begs the question also as to whether or not he has unofficially been adopted into the mainstream. I am hoping not because it always seems like you can apply an expiration date to an artist once they reach that critical mass. I think Banksy is a true innovator though and I can easily imagine him reinventing himself, maybe even in another medium, under another name where he will no doubt burn another new and amazing trail.
News of the show:
At The International Herald Tribune
Video of the setup: