Banksy Universe? Social media abuzz by teasers with secretive artist’s name

April 23, 2024 - 6:00 PM
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Banksy art
A teaser of "Banksy Universe" posted on the Facebook page of the Bonifacio Global City on April 22, 2024 (bonifacioglobalcityph/Facebook)

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila intrigued social media users after it posted teasers with the name of Banksy, an England-based street artist and political activist.

Since Monday, the museum has been posting teasers featuring spray-painted artwork on its social media pages.

One of the teasers includes the words “Banksy Universe” and “Manila 2024.”

“Spraying soon. ‘Art is not a crime,'” another teaser reads.

It also included the hashtags “#BanksyUniverse” and “#BanksyUniversePH.”

The social media page of Bonifacio Global City, a central business and lifestyle district, also posted the teasers and tagged the museum.

The teasers earned mixed reactions from some Filipinos. Others expressed excitement, while some asked if the event was legitimate.

“Banksy exhibit???????!!!!!! Count me in!!!!!” a Pinoy exclaimed with crying emojis.

“And this is what we are waiting for,” another Facebook user commented, tagging a friend.

“Banksy??? When??” wrote a different user.

Another Facebook user claimed that the event could be about “a private collector showing their collection of Banksy pieces.”

“This isn’t Banksy putting on an art show. It’s a rich art collector profiting off people who want to see Banksy’s art. Defeats the purpose of Banksy, which was street art, and seeing a piece in the wild,” he wrote.

An online user shared a screengrab from the Pest Control Office, the official body that has the authority to authenticate artworks of the artist.

“Really skeptical about this, though,” the user commented.

“Weh,” another Pinoy commented, also sharing a screengrab from the Pest Control Office website.

Banksy is said to be one of the world’s most famous artists but his identity continues to be a mystery.

BBC previously reported that the “guerilla street artist” has Hollywood celebrities like Brad Pitt as one of his fans.

“A hero to some, a vandal to others, his artworks sell for eye-watering sums, with councils and landowners rushing to profit from — or whitewash — buildings chosen as his latest canvas. And yet, the self-styled prankster and anti-establishment figure has consistently managed to remain anonymous,” its article about him said.

The news outlet said Banksy rose to prominence after he began spray-painting his stenciled designs in Bristol, England in the early 1990s.

It added that Banksy was born in South Gloucestershire in the early 1970s and moved to London in the early 2000s, continuing to attract people with his “satirical street art.”

According to the Pest Control Office, Banksy “is not involved or associated with any” of the exhibits claiming to feature his art.

It added that the artist is “not represented by any other gallery or institution.”

“Pest Control is the only point of sale for new work by the artist,” the entity said.