More than 25,000 tickets have already been purchased for “The Art of Banksy: Without Limits” exhibition opening at  Underground Atlanta on Sept. 3.

The exhibit is set to include more than 150 pieces, including certificated original works, reproductions of Banksy’s famed graffiti, photos, sculptures, murals, installations, digital installations and a video mapping show created specifically for the run.

“We’re expecting 1,000 to 1,500 visitors each day to the exhibit, so Underground Atlanta is the perfect venue and atmosphere,” said show organizer Martin Biallas, CEO SEE Global Entertainment.

Biallas said the exhibition would stretch down Underground’s main street, with its old brick walls and storefronts a perfect fit for Banksy’s street art.

The exhibition of work by the famed, anonymous British street artist has generated controversy, some of it by Banksy himself, who has disavowed similar shows around the world. Biallas said his steam had been working with Pest Control, which is the only authorized authenticator of Banksy’s work, to make sure the exhibition doesn’t fall afoul of the artist.

Biallas said Atlanta was chosen for the U.S. premiere of “Without Limits” after the success of the immersive Van Gogh exhibition at Pratt Pullman Yard.

“I think Banksy’s work will resonate with the people of Atlanta,” Biallas commented. “Banksy has a unique power to express strong political statements with poetry, energy and humor with an unnerving ability to get to the heart of the subject matter. Any location that features Banksy’s work becomes the place to see.”

Curating an exhibition of Banksy has been “challenging and unique” Biallas said since much of the artist’s well-known political and social commentary pieces were spray-painted on buildings and public sites – many now painted over, removed, or defaced.

 This isn’t to say Banksy hasn’t participated in any exhibitions or created art for public sale. He famously sold signed canvasses of his work on the streets of New York for just $60 in 2013 and his large-scale canvas “Devolved Parliament” – depicting members of the UK parliament as chimpanzees –  sold for a record £9.9 million in London in 2019. The artist made headlines around the world in 2018 when a canvas of his famous “Balloon Girl” was sold at Sotheby’s in London for over £1 million. Shortly after the auction, a shredder he’d hidden in the frame destroyed the work.

Of course, one of the most enduring and alluring things about the work of Banksy is that no one has been able to unmask him for more than 30 years. Rumors continue to swirl about Banksy’s identity, with speculation that he’s artist Robin Gunningham or Robert Del Naja of the band Massive Attack, among others. Biallas said he hopes Banksy’s identity is never revealed. “I think part of the power of his message is that he’s anonymous,” he said.

Tickets start at  $29.20 available now through ArtOfBanksy.com. The show runs through Jan. 9, 2022.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.