“What the hell is that?,” Banksy asked an unidentified interlocutor who texted him a photo of an unauthorized Russian exhibition of the street artist’s work. The exchange, which Banksy posted on his official Instagram yesterday (one of the only channels through which the anonymous artist communicates), includes a statement of disavowal.
After being informed that the Central House of Artists, which is hosting an exhibition it bills as the “major art event of the year,” is charging a £20 ($25.40) entrance fee (organizer of the exhibition Alexander Nachkebia disputes this figure, placing it at £8, or a little over $10), Banksy said: “You know its [sic] got nothing to do with me right? I don’t charge people to see my art unless there’s a fairground wheel.”
The show features approximately 100 displays of Banksy’s work that are being shown in Russia for the first time. According to Nachkebia, 252,000 people have visited the installation since it opened two and a half months ago.
“You should probably do something,” the unattributed source told the artist. Banksy, resigned, cheekily replied “Hmm -not sure i’m [sic] the best person to complain about people putting up pictures without getting permission.”