Pseudonymous, ever-mysterious Banksy wears many different hats: graffiti artist, painter, political activist, and film director. His murals have graced a great many walls, from New York to the West Bank and Gaza, with a number of them having been valued highly at auctions.
This weekend and for the next few weeks, however, the artist will be playing theme park keeper, as he opens a “bemusement park” called Dismaland in the English seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, where fans will be able to witness the his biggest, perhaps most ambitious project to date. Tagged “the UK’s most disappointing new visitors attraction,” the 1-hectare park is a collective exhibition featuring works by a group of 58 hand-picked artists. Inside, the venue is created to the details to be a grim, surreal version of amusement parks, as subversive installations and statements referencing current issues and pop culture take the form of a carousel and a Ferris wheel, among others.
Despite the resemblance in different aspects of the exhibition’s design—from the typeface it uses in its logo, to the castle installed at the center of the park—Banksy insisted the installation was not a swipe at Disney. “I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site. It’s a showcase for the best line-up of artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down,” he said in a statement.
Dismaland is open until September 27, with tickets priced at USD$4.7.
For more information, visit Dismaland.