Banksy Brings Whimsical Anarchy To Southampton

by Joseph Russell · June 10, 2008

Banksy is an anonymous British graffiti artist who has parlayed his knack for in-your-face paradoxical imagery -a pigtailed girl clutching a bomb, a crucified Jesus clutching shopping bags, a pasture surrounded by caution tape, into a multimillion dollar, culturally acclaimed (and denounced) career. Often compared to Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat due to his reconfiguration of already existing images and knack for tagging public buildings, Bansky has perhaps become "the quickest growing artist... of all time."

While Banksy's own shows are studies in organized chaos, replete with livestock and desecrations of beloved figures (even Mother Teresa isn't spared; a caption across her portrait reads " This woman taught me a valuable lesson. Moisturize everyday."], his retrospective at the Stephen Keszler gallery focuses purely on the paintings. Unless you've 300K burning a hole in your Vilebrequins, don't go in intent on purchase. Do go with an open mind, and a willingness to feel both enchanted and uncomfortable.