LONDON (Reuters) - What has been billed as the biggest exhibition by British graffiti artist Banksy will open to the public on Saturday in a railway tunnel near Waterloo train station in central London.
Called “The Cans Festival,” a play on the annual cinema extravaganza in the southern French town of Cannes, the show features works by artists from around the world, and visitors are invited to join in.
The organizers’ Web site (www.thecansfestival.com) makes the “rules of engagement” clear:
* no freehand lettering or characters may be sprayed on to the tunnel walls, and stencils must be employed
* artists must report to reception on arrival and they will be told where to paint
* artists must not spray over works already on the walls.
According to the Times newspaper, which had a preview of the show, anonymous artist Banksy, whose works now fetch tens of thousands of pounds at auction and are collected by the rich and famous, contributed several works.
One is a large mural of a self-harming “hoody,” another shows the Buddha wearing a neck-brace and there is a sculpture of a tree sprouting CCTV cameras.
“I’ve always felt anyone with a paint can should have as much say in how our cities look as architects and ad men,” Banksy was quoted as saying by the Times.
“So getting to cover an entire street with graffiti is a dream come true, or as some people might call it -- a complete and utter nightmare.”
(Writing by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)