Updated Mar 15, 2022 - Things to Do

Banksy exhibit heading to Minneapolis puts price tag on street art

Three pieces of art by Banksy hang on the wall as people gather around.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Flubacker/"The Art of Banksy"

A traveling exhibit of Banksy's art coming to Minneapolis this May will be an expensive ticket, begging the question: would the anonymous street artist even approve?

What's happening: Basic tickets to "The Art of Banksy," an unauthorized exhibition of 100 works from private collectors, range from $40-$70, depending on the day and time.

The confusion: Banksy is known for displaying work in unexpected and public (read: free) places.

The big picture: Traveling exhibits like "The Art of Banksy" and "Immersive Van Gogh," which also stopped in Minneapolis, are raking in some serious cash.

  • "Immersive Van Gogh," run by the same group, sold 4.5 million tickets across North America, as of late December 2021, according to MarketWatch. That's roughly $250 million in revenue, not including gift shop sales. Tickets to that exhibit started at $40, too.

Zoom in: Even on a weekday, tickets for the new Banksy exhibit are at least double the price of a typical Twin Cities art museum.

  • The well-established Walker Art Center will run you about $15.
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Art, which is almost entirely free, has a rotating paid exhibit for $20 per person.

What they're saying: Because the company behind "The Art of Banksy" isn't a nonprofit, it's not eligible for the grants, funding or tax benefits other museums can receive, spokesperson Nick Harkin told Axios late Monday.

  • "We must fund the exhibition in its entirety…so it ends up being a costly endeavor," he said.

What to watch: Time will tell whether the Banksy exhibit will face the same cold shoulder from critics as "Immersive Van Gogh" last year.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to add a statement from the exhibit's organizers.


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