This summer, the community of Laguna Beach will be presented a rare opportunity to view original paintings and works on paper by one of the art world’s most enigmatic figures – Banksy. Pageant of the Vandals is an enlightening peek into the world of Street Art – an impactful but misunderstood artform that is often under-appreciated, vilified, or forced into a transitory existence. The exhibition, curated by Hexagon Gallery along with Artists Republic and Elephants & Castles, aims to educate visitors about the significance of Street Art in contemporary culture. It will include works by internationally renowned artists, Ben Eine, Swoon, Beau Stanton, Lucy Sparrow, Chad Hasegawa, Jeff Gillette, Zio Zeigler and a selection of works by Banksy and Shepard Fairey from the Hexagon Gallery Collection.
The works will rotate three times over the course of the exhibition, and will orbit around the show’s pivotal piece, Banksy’s Haight Street Rat. The artist tagged the enormous painting on the side of San Francisco bed-and-breakfast hotel The Red Vic in 2010 in conjunction with the release of his documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop. The work was preserved by public arts filmmaker Brian Greif and is the subject of his new documentary, Save the Banksy. The opening of Pageant of the Vandals will coincide with the premiere of the documentary at the Hollywood film festival.
“I grew up in the Laguna Beach area, but in 2010, I was living on Haight Street directly across from the Red Vic. I remember seeing the Haight Street Rat appear from my bedroom window the very next morning and knew who made it immediately.” says Hexagon Gallery owner Ryland Behrens. “The impact of Banksy’s presence in art and his satire of popular society bolstered my passion as an arts professional and now this painting has serendipitously found its way back into my life. Banksy breaks a lot of rules in my industry, which is something I respect very much. I am delighted to be a part of this and give something back to Laguna – this is definitely a personal highlight. To our Orange County community, which has never experienced a Street Art exhibition of this significance, I would say: expect a show that is exciting, fun, challenging, and most of all, truthful.”