Banksy's first solo exhibition in 14 years set to open in Glasgow

The Cut & Run show features many of the stencils used to create the artworks

Gallery steward Louisa Mcgeachie stands next to the stencil piece of the Girl with the Heart Balloon. Getty
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Banksy’s first solo exhibition in 14 years is set to open in Glasgow this weekend.

The Cut & Run show has been officially authorised by the elusive street artist and features many of the stencils used to create his art.

Banksy said: “I've kept these stencils hidden away for years, mindful they could be used as evidence in a charge of criminal damage.

“But that moment seems to have passed, so now I'm exhibiting them in a gallery as works of art. I'm not sure which is the greater crime.”

The show, which spans 25 years, is taking place at the city's Gallery of Modern Art, which the artist chose because of the traffic cone which famously sits on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue outside the gallery.

A gallery label for the show says: “For anyone who isn't aware – the statue out the front has had a cone on its head continuously for the past 40-odd years. Despite the best efforts of the council and police, every time one is removed another takes its place.

“This might sound absurd and pretentious [just wait until you see the rest of the exhibition], but it's my favourite work of art in the UK and the reason I've brought the show here.”

It includes authentic artefacts, ephemera and the artist's actual toilet.

A number of unsanctioned exhibitions have taken place around the world in recent years, with one set to open in London next month featuring the world’s largest collection of Banksy artworks.

Banksy said: “While the unauthorised Banksy shows might look like sweepings from my studio floor, Cut & Run really is the actual sweepings from my studio floor.”

Spanning from 1998 to the present day, the artist calls the exhibition “25 years card labour”.

Pieces in the exhibition include the stencils for Girl With Balloon and Kissing Coppers.

Banksy's works – in pictures

There is also a model explaining how the artist managed to shred Girl With Balloon during an auction at Sotheby's in London in 2018.

The artwork hit the headlines when it partially self-destructed at the conclusion of an auction in which it had been sold for £1.1 million ($1.39 million).

The canvas was passed through a secret shredder hidden inside its large frame, leaving the bottom half in tatters and only a solitary red balloon left on a white background in the frame.

The artist renamed the work Love Is In The Bin and it sold at auction for £18.58 million in 2021.

A stencil for a work that appeared on a damaged building in Ukraine, of a female gymnast balancing, is also on show, as is the stab-proof Union Jack vest Stormzy wore when he headlined at Glastonbury Festival in 2019.

The exhibition will open on Sunday and run for three months, opening all night at weekends.

If it proves popular the show may then tour.

Updated: June 15, 2023, 11:49 AM