Before going to Antwerp, my mom and I had discussed some of the things we wanted to see and experience together. These ranged from cathedrals to museums to food, but one event in particular was at the top of my list of priorities, and that was seeing Banksy.
Now, most people my age know of and are familiar with Banksy and his work. Even if one has never even heard of him, they might still recognize some of his pieces. My mom was not one of these people. One evening on the phone when we were wrapping up our conversation, she casually mentioned that there is a huge Banksy exhibit going on and a bunch of the students had gotten very excited and bought tickets and were going and do you know who Banksy is have you ever heard of him? uh, YES. Of course I know who Banksy is. Well not really know because no one really knows but yes I am quite familiar and may even call myself a fan and yes I would love to go let’s get tickets right now.
The exhibit was set up in the Shopping Stadsfeestzaal, a huge shopping plaza located DIRECTLY across from my mother’s apartment building, making organizing our plans a breeze as we only had to walk 50ft out the door, across the street, and we had arrived.
This exhibit featured one of the largest collections of Banksy’s work- over 80 original pieces highlighting 30 of his artistic styles- and was curated by Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s former agent.
I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit. Each piece had a description informing viewers the meaning behind the art. There were also videos highlighting Banksy’s history, how he worked, and how he rose to popularity. The exhibit is now closed as it was a temporary set-up, but it was well worth the visit and I would always encourage travelers to take advantage of such opportunities to see such prominent and influential artists’ work. While this exhibit was not a representation of Belgian culture, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and I was not going miss it.