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‘Banksy Universe’ Opens in the PH

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila presents its “Banky Universe”—an exhibition inspired by the works of the renowned British street artist-activist.
Banksy Universe
James Francisco

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) unveils its “Banksy Universe,” presenting an immersive exhibit inspired by the works of renowned British street artist-activist Banksy on May 14, 2024. A collaborative project between the museum and Banksy Universe Collective, the six-month installation showcases “very detailed and oriented” adaptations of his iconic works, scattered across the United Kingdom, the United States, and Palestine.

According to PhilSTAR L!fe’s interview with Chris Johnson of Banksy Universe Collective, the exhibition aims to promote “highly relatable” global themes, “from world conflicts to LGBTQ+ to domestic abuse to child slavery to human trafficking”—expressed through the lens of the artist whose identity remains unknown.

Instagram: @metmuseummanila and @banksyuniverse

With news of the exhibit in late April 2024, the Internet questioned its authenticity. It was supposedly not “authorized or endorsed” by Pest Control, Banksy’s official handler, as the majority of his murals are “almost impossible to see…outside of the specific location that they were created” (apart from  Amsterdam’s Moco Museum where authentic Banksy pieces are displayed).

Regardless of the backlash received, the MET continued to push for “Banksy Universe,” to educate its visitors on the artist’s works, his advocacy, and his ability to utilize his creativity to speak his truths.

“We believe that it's important for the Filipino audience to get educated about who this artist is, why does he do what he does, and how this could encourage a wave of creativity from other parts of the world, which may have been silenced or don't think that their art can transmit a similar type of messages,” Johnson mentioned.

The MET’s “Banksy Universe” will run from May 14 to November 20, 2024. Interested museum-goers may access the exhibit from Tuesdays to Saturdays upon registering through the MET website at least a day prior. All Day Access Passes are priced at ₱550, senior citizens and persons with disabilities are discounted to ₱440, while students are priced at ₱275.

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