The Cans Festival. London, May 2008.

Banksy hosted an exhibition called The Cans Festival in London, over the weekend 3–5 May 2008.  It was situated on Leake Street, a road tunnel formerly used by Eurostar underneath London Waterloo station. Graffiti artists with stencils were invited to join in and paint their own artwork, as long as it did not cover anyone else’s.

Photos: Romany WG and others

Barely Legal – the first big US show. September 2006.

Barely Legal was the third major exhibition after Turf War and Crude Oils. It was held in a warehouse in Los Angeles on the weekend of 16 September 2006. Billed as a “three-day vandalised warehouse extravaganza”. The exhibition featured a live “elephant in a room,” painted in a pink and gold floral wallpaper pattern, which, according to leaflets handed out at the exhibition, was intended to draw attention to the issue of world poverty.  Banksy continues exploring the “modified oils” genre from the previous exhibition “Crude Oils”.

The segregation wall. Palestine, August 2005.

In August 2005 Team Banksy visited Palestine where they painted seven large murals on the segregation wall. Banksy’s feelings about the barrier are made explicit in a statement which says the wall “essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open prison.” On Banksy’s website, readers are reminded that Israel’s 425-mile-long West Bank barrier, separating Israel from the Palestinian territories, is considered illegal by the United Nations. During the visit to Ramallah and surrounding areas, Banksy reports some tense moments. His spokeswoman Jo Brooks said: “The Israeli security forces did shoot in the air threateningly and there were quite a few guns pointed at him.”

Photos: Wall and piece – Banksy

Santa’s Ghetto 03. London, December 2003.

Santa’s Ghetto 2003 opened on December 2 in an abandoned store just off Carnaby Street in London. Contained work by Banksy, Jamie Hewlett, Mode 2 and 3D among others. Described by Pictures on Walls as a “festive extravaganza of cheap art and related novelty goods from lowbrow artists and trained vandals”. The launch party attracted Damon Albarn and Alex James of Blur,  and star chef Jamie Oliver.

Photos: Wembley Pairs, Flickr

Turf War. London, July 2003.

Opened on July 18 and lasted for three days. Turf War is Banksy’s first major exhibition where he displays a great variety of different techniques and styles. Marks the beginning of a string of brilliant exhibitions with a periodicity of approximately two years. Turf War in 2003, Crude Oils, 2005, Barely Legal, 2006, Banksy vs Bristol Museum 2009, etc. The live cows and sheep are transported from the Somerset farm. There is also a section of “modified oils”, the most prominent being “Suicide bombers just need a hug”. The London art critics call the exhibitions one of the most interesting of the year.

Photos: http://www.artofthestate.co.uk and Benny Goh

Paints live animals. Somerset, July 2003

Banksy goes to a farm in Somerset to spraypaint live animals for his upcoming Turf War exhibition in London. Animal rights activists chain themselves to the railings surrounding the farm. “The cattle are show cattle donated by the farmer and he was happy to lend them,” says a spokeswoman for the exhibition.