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Arts

Banksy among street art trailblazers on show in Munich

Kicking off this Easter, an exhibition in the Bavarian capital features provocative, politically-engaged urban art from across 20 nations. Enigmatic street art legend Banksy is among the exhibitors.

A diverse showcase of over 50 urban artists from all five continents, the "Magic City - The Art of the Street" exhibition begins April 13 in Munich's Olympic Park. Described as a "playground of the imagination," this urban museum, which runs through September 3, celebrates spontaneous street art creativity across several thousand square meters.

A print of the Banksy work, Love Rat, on show at Magic City (The Don Gallery Milano)

A print of the Banksy work, "Love Rat," on show at Magic City

The Magic City line-up includes stars of the street art world like Banksy, Blek Le Rat and Shepard Fairey, plus Polish-American crochet artist Olek, Egyptian artist Ganzeer, who came to fame for his provocative works during the 2011 Arab Spring, and the Iranian stencil artists Icy and Sot, whose work portrays issues relating to human rights and ecological justice.

Meanwhile, the latest film about the work of the enigmatic Banksy, "Saving Banksy," by director Colin Day, will be shown in the Magic City cinema. Several Banksy stencils will also be on show.

Also featured at Magic City is Munich-based graffiti artist Loomit (Mathias Köhler), the best-known spray can painter in Germany.

"Street style is pretty much the last bastion of painting through which you can reach the youth," he told German news agency dpa before the show. "They are more inspired by something like this as opposed to museums or galleries."

American graffiti artist and street art muralist Tristan Eaton underlined the political approach to much of the work at Magic City that inevitably reflects the times. "I wanted to do some works promoting the idea of peace, but also the dark underbelly of those seeking it," said Eaton.

His painting for Magic City, featuring a motif juxtaposing a dove and a gun, "references the refugee crisis (and) the idealistic pursuit of peace and the terror that's created inadvertently...the good and the bad in this hypocritical fight for peace."

Magic City has been expertly curated by New York urban art luminaries Carlo McCormick and Ethel Seno - McCormick is the publisher of Paper Magazine and works as an author and art critic for Artnews, Artforum and Art in America, while Ethel Seno worked as a co-curator for exhibitions like Art in the Streets at the MOCA in Los Angeles.

For a brief history of street art in pictures, click through the gallery below. 

 

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