The Art of Banksy, the largest touring exhibition of authentic Banksy artworks ever assembled with 80+ pieces sourced from private collectors around the world, is collaborating with local artists to display their original work on the third floor of the exhibition space. Chicago-based artists Caleb Mulholland, John Ross Wilson and Melissa Allegretti have the opportunity to sell individual pieces to ticketholders in the same venue that is housing some of Banksy’s most recognizable images, like “Flower Thrower,” “Rude Copper” and “Girl with Balloon.” The Chicago-based artists have made their mark in the VIP lounge where their art is being displayed, which also offers local brews and snacks.
Working in styles that align with Banksy’s provocative street art, each artist offers a range of talent for visitors to take in. “LOOP” by Allegretti, who draws inspiration from Chicago’s skateboarding scene, is a three-part piece that uses the “L” map of the CTA to show both the gritty and gorgeous aspects of Chicago - embracing the city's staples alongside some of its less glorious counterparts, with a nod to Chicago’s home-brewed liquor, Malört.
Left: Lucky Cat Sunflower by Caleb Mulholland, Right: By John Ross Wilson
Pop-surrealist artist Caleb Mulholland is a multi-faceted, Chicago-based art director utilizing modern contemporary media to explore iconic imagery. Mulholland tries to push beyond the envelope as he crafts a dreamscape within these contemporary artworks. The Art of Banksy prominently features the artist's works that display eclectic twists on Bart Simpson, in which Mulholland often manipulates canvas paintings covered by resin to produce a glossy finish.
"Several years ago I remember seeing 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' for the first time. I recall being inspired by the film and had the sudden urge to paint, express, do,” said Mulholland. “Now, years later, to my disbelief, I've taken a little bit of that expression, made some art and had the grand opportunity to place it quite literally by the exit of the gift shop at an exhibit featuring the Art of Banksy. Once in a while you can get shown the light I suppose. This has been a wonderful opportunity for local artists like myself to emerge onto the scene and share our passion with the world. I am honored to be a part of the show."
John Wilson is an artist, scenic designer, educator and actor in Chicago. His paintings and murals can be seen throughout the Chicagoland area, most notably Redline VR, a virtual reality arcade and bar on the north side where he has four murals and is currently art directing the new building they just acquired. Since 2001, he has designed scenery for over 100 productions in Chicago and won the 2015 Non-Equity Jeff Award for Best Scenic Design for “Byhalia, Mississippi” with New Colony and Definition Theater. The production was remounted at Steppenwolf in the late summer of 2016. Aside from his impressive theater accolades, Wilson is also an artist with Fulton Street Collective where he paints to live music on YouTube and in front of an audience at The Art of Banksy exhibition.
“We wanted to use the space to embrace Chicago’s thriving local arts scene and show off the incredible talent that comes from this city," said Corey Ross, Executive Producer of Starvox Entertainment. "With the amount of visitors coming to the exhibition, we found it a perfect way to highlight these artists to people that may not be familiar with their work already. Each artist has a new fan, as I myself have taken home a few pieces already!”
As a take-away from viewing, QR codes and artist Instagram hashtags are listed on the pieces for visitors to learn more about the work. More information about the artists can be found on their social media pages: @calebmulholland, @johnrosswilsonart, @melissaallegretti.
Ticket prices for The Art of Banksy start at $39.99 ($29.99 for children 16 or younger), with timed, flexible and VIP ticket options available. Tickets are on-sale for viewings from Aug. 14 through Oct. 31, 2021. For more information about The Art of Banksy, visit banksyexhibit.com. Follow the exhibition on social media at @BanksyExhibit on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Please consult the website for updated information on COVID- 19 protocols.
About The Art of Banksy
The Art of Banksy features more than 80 works by the elusive street artist including many of his most recognizable images such as “Flower Thrower,” “Rude Copper” and “Girl with Balloon.” Banksy’s works are seen on city walls, bridges and streets throughout the world, but The Art of Banksy offers a rare chance to see a multitude of works in one location.
In true Banksy style, The Art of Banksy is not authorized or curated in collaboration with the artist, but rather sourced from private collections allowing the public to see works that would otherwise stay hidden in private homes or warehouses. Banksy, whose identity is the art world’s biggest secret, is an enigmatic artist and world-recognized activist. His graffiti-influenced stencil technique, often combined with anti-establishment slogans, is immediately recognizable and never fails to generate immediate attention.
Seen by 750,000 people worldwide, The Art of Banksy has already generated excitement in London, Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Auckland and Toronto with rave reviews from critics all around the world. Harper’s Bazaar advised “This isn’t one to miss,” Marie Claire proclaimed it “A must see!” while TimeOut Toronto described The Art of Banksy as “a welcome reminder of the explosive impact of the artist's works, and of the powerful potential of street art.”
Situated in the heart of River North adjacent to the Marina Towers, 360 N. State St. is quickly developing a reputation as a prime exhibition space. The modern venue’s tall, overarching ceilings provide ample room to showcase Banksy’s work in all its glory. Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy the space’s outdoor balcony and a VIP/private reception room on the third floor. The venue stands in a bustling, energetic region of River North, amongst esteemed restaurants, hotels, music venues and more, just steps away from the Chicago Riverwalk. With on-site parking available, 360 N. State St. is easily accessible via numerous L and bus lines, including the nearby Grand Avenue CTA Red Line stop.
About Starvox Exhibits
Starvox Exhibits is a new division of Starvox Entertainment. Starvox Entertainment, founded in 2005 by Corey Ross, has ranked on Profit Magazine’s list of Canada’s top growth companiesfor four years running - the only live Entertainment Company ever to be on the list. Starvox produces unique live theatre properties, including: the hugely successful “Wow VarietySpectacular,” currently in residence at Caesars Entertainment’s Rio Casino, the record-breaking “Evil Dead: TheMusical,” successful touring West-Endhit Harry Potterparody “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience" "Trey Parker's Cannibal! The Musical” and many others. Starvox Exhibits is also one of the founding producers of Immersive Van Gogh, the original immersive experience now on view in cities across North America.
About [ collectivpresents ]
[ collectiv presents ] is a full-service event promotion and production company focused on bringing unique and memorable concert experiences to fans and artist camps alike.
Founded by Chris Den Uijl, Lucas King, and Michael Berg, [ collectiv presents ] has decades of experience in talent buying and event promotion and production across multiple genres, and in multiple cities and states throughout North America.