A local gallery owner, whose burgeoning breakdance and graffiti career was cut short by a Parish Hall Inquiry, has brought five works by Banksy to Jersey in a return to his "roots."
The works are being featured in Private & Public's latest exhibition, 'Urban Interventions', which also sees the likes of Keith Haring and Invader hung alongside local street artists Bluntroller and Midnight Industries.
Express went to check it out...
Even before entering the exhibition, the tone is set from the outside of Somerville House. The gallery's outer columns have been transformed by Olly Killip - also known as Bluntroller87 - with sprayed add-ons, including a quirky take on the Genuine Jersey logo and one of his signature subversive banknotes.
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Inside the gallery's exhibition hall, the main wall has been covered in a distinctie Keith Haring pattern.
Front and centre is one of the American's artist's 'Black and White Dog' styles, surrounded by several of Banksy's works - 'HMV Dog' (the iconic canine - but with a bazooka), transformed traffic sign 'Flood Rat', 'Nola (Orange Rain)' and the flower-throwing rioter of 'Love is in the Air'.
The main event, however, is the glass case housing 'Parachute Rats' - an authentic bus stop sign transformed with three sniffing rodents.
Open until 18 October, 'Urban Interventions' also includes works from Pure Evil, Nick Walker and Miss Bugs.
Pictured: 'Parachute Rats' by Banksy (2003).
The selection might seem like a departure from the offering the gallery usually presents, but Director Chris Clifford explained it feels like a homecoming of sorts for him.
The self-confessed "middle-aged middle-class white man" says people might not believe it upon seeing him, but Chris fondly recalls a time when he would stroll down King Street in a Ellesse tracksuit with a piece of lino under his arm.
As a young teenager, he could be seen body-popping, breakdancing and spinning around on a piece of lino in Queensway House outside Lady Jane Records as part of the 'Lockage Crew'.
Pictured: The exhibition features works from Banksy and Keith Haring among others.
"Making graffiti, tags and burners was a natural extension of that cultural phenomenon, but my career as street artist was quickly brought to a close following a Parish Hall Inquiry," he added.
Mr Clifford admitted the hip hop culture "fascinated" him and was the first thing he really "got into".
"Some 35 years later I am delighted to bring this world class exhibition to Jersey containing examples of street artists such as Banksy and Keith Haring," he said.
"It has taken many months to source these very rare and highly collectable artworks, so I hope that people will take the time to make a visit to the gallery."
Pictured: The exhibition can be seen at Private and Public until 18 October.
The gallery director has been equally fascinated to see Banksy's work evolve from that of a street 'vandal', to street art and finally fine art, which has reached "investment grade".
"This feels like the right time," Mr Clifford said of the decision to stage 'Urban Interventions' now.
"People like Banksy have currency because they critique the world in a way people can understand. People get it."
Learn more about Jersey's 'hidden' art investment scene, and the art of a deal by reading this month's Connect Magazine here.
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