A recent exhibition of work by the graffiti artist Banksy at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) “broke box office records” as it attracted new and diverse visitors to the venue.
The gallery said the Cut & Run show had attracted about 180,000 attendees during its ten-week run, which ended this week.
The exhibition showcased stencil graffiti by Banksy from between 1998 and 2023. It was Goma’s first show to open overnight, with the gallery saying that many people had visited “out of usual hours”.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the exhibition was open from 9am until 5am the next morning. From Sunday to Thursday it was open between 9am and 11pm.
Goma manager Gareth James said: “Cut & Run has welcomed a new and diverse audience, from primary school pupils to octogenarians, from all areas of society and corners of the globe.
“Every day we open our doors to queues of hundreds of people waiting for walk-up tickets. Free community tickets and overnight opening hours have extended the museum’s reach far beyond our usual scope.”
The artist banned the use of phones at the exhibition. “We expected some resistance but in fact visitors embraced the no phones rule; enjoying the time and space to see the work unhindered,” said James.
Future shows at Goma “will directly benefit from the sale of Banksy merchandise”, the gallery said.
According to the official Cut & Run website, the show may appear at other venues in future. It asks members of the public to suggest specific locations, saying: “We want to take this show on the road but have no idea where to go next. Do you?”
“I’ve kept these stencils hidden away for years, mindful they could be used as evidence in a charge of criminal damage,” Banksy said in a statement on the Glasgow Life website.
“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 identity of Banksy has never been confirmed, but the artist is believed to be from the Bristol area.
A separate, unauthorised exhibition of Banksy’s work – The Art of Banksy – has been displayed in 15 cities across the world. It is due to open in London’s Regent Street in September.
There appears to be a growing trend for exhibiting street art. An exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery earlier this year was billed as “the most comprehensive graffiti and street art exhibition to open in the UK”.