Laugh Now c. 2002, is one of more than 80 works that will appear as part of the largest collection of Banksy pieces ever presented in Australia
Credit: Courtesy of the artist
For a city evidently hellbent on inadvertently destroying the artist’s work, Melbourne seems a strange though not entirely unsurprising choice to host a major exhibition of works ostensibly created by the anonymous street artist Banksy.

Curated by gallerist Steve Lazarides, former manager of Banksy, The Art of Banksy will include more than 80 works drawn from his own collection and other private collections and will transform The Paddock at Federation Square into a thriving cultural precinct called The Railyard encompassing local art, live music, food and drink over three months beginning in October. Featuring works including Girl With Balloon and Laugh Now, pictured above, the exhibition will be the largest collection of Banksy artworks to ever be exhibited in Australia – one that’s unauthorised by the artist.

“This exhibition is a one off – never will you be able to see this amount of work in one place again. Once the show is over, the artwork will dissipate back to the other 40 collectors around the world, and the likelihood of them being brought together again in the future is very slim,” Lazarides said in a statement.

Last week, in a theory that went ‘viral’, a Scottish journalist postulated that Banksy is the work of English trip hop musicians Massive Attack, in particular frontman Robert Del Naja, whose global tour dates coincided with the appearance of new works by the infamous artist. Massive Attack do not presently have any scheduled appearances upcoming.

Tickets for The Art of Banksy are on sale now through Ticketek. The exhibition will run from October 7 until January 22, 2017.

Tile and cover image: Courtesy of the artist