Madrid, Dec 7 (AFP) Banksy has been Banksied.
"Genius or Vandal?" opened Thursday at the Ifema centre in the Spanish capital and will run until March 10.
The street artist himself remains something of an enigma. All he has revealed about himself is that he is British and that his home town is Bristol in southeast England.
But the dark wit of his art and a certain talent for self-promotion has helped him build up an international reputation, to the point that his works have fetched more than a million pounds.
He posted an exchange of messages between him and a follower who tipped him off to the unauthorised exhibition.
Told they were charging a 20 pounds (USD 25, 22 euro) entrance free, Bansky replied: "I wish I could find it funny. What's the opposite of LOL?" But at the suggestion that he put out a statement denouncing the fact that it was made to look like an official show, he replied: "...not sure I'm the best person to complain about people putting up pictures without getting permission."
Nevertheless, his website does carry a message warning visitors about this and other shows. "They've been organised entirely without the artist's knowledge or involvement. Please treat them accordingly." In the meantime, his subversive style continues to attract admirers.
His most recent stunt was at the October auction of one of his works, "Girl with Balloon", at Sotheby's in London.
Only partially destroyed, the buyer went through with the purchase and some art experts said it was probably now worth more than it had been before the stunt. (AFP) IJT
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