BANKSY | WAR BOUTIQUE exhibition at Andipa Gallery


    From a rebellious youth growing up in Glasgow to the fractious student captured in the BBC 4 documentary: Goldsmiths: But Is It Art? to a ballistics expert with government security clearance but most importantly an artist, War Boutique’s work is as much about transformation as his life. Re-modeling the fabrics of war into installations for peace, the artist’s passion for textiles took him beyond his everyday work and into the realms of wearable art… with a cause.

    War Boutique's textiles of choice are Kevlar and Dyneema designed to resist bullets; his form is the flak jacket emblazoned with Metropolitan Peace or the fully armoured chalk-stripe suit for the City Gent Soldier.

    The artist known as War Boutique has provided his work for photo-shoots with the late Alexander McQueen CBE as well as collaborating with the royal and military tailor, Gieves & Hawkes, to create City Gent Soldier. He has also provided artwork for some of the most renowned contemporary artists including the infamous street artist Banksy for his controversial Banksy Versus Bristol Museum show and YBA Sarah Lucas.

    Working for a body armour company on obtaining his degree in Textiles and Fashion Design, he has designed armour and uniforms from fabrics specially formulated for military use or the British, Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani and Algerian armies, as well as the Metropolitan Police, Italian Carabinieri and Mexico City Police.

    The arresting symbolic potential of these textiles led War Boutique to requisition and recycle uniforms, military and ballistic materials and use them in his art, to alert us to the creeping militarisation of our society, encourage us to work towards peace and remind us of our duty to realise this.

    Using textiles bullet proof ceramics, shells and bomb blankets as the conduit to express his ideas, "War Boutique symbolically transforms instruments of war and destruction into constructive items embodying creativity, peace and critical social commentary." Society for Contemporary Craft.

    War Boutique's work will be on show from 9 June to 9 July 2011 at Andipa Gallery, a leading London dealer of modern and contemporary art, as part of the upcoming exhibition: BANKSY | WAR BOUTIQUE. A show that will bring together some of the most iconic original works by these two mavericks of urban art, War Boutique in the gallery's lower ground floor space and original paintings by Banksy in the ground floor gallery.


    It has been an eventful 6 months for renowned street artist Banksy. His highly contentious opening sequence for popular TV series The Simpsons an Oscar nomination for his documentary film Exit Through The Gift Shop – an event accompanied by the artist's own unofficial awards campaign where his works mysteriously appeared on billboards and walls across Los Angeles. As well as the ever-present threats to expose his carefully guarded identity.

    Banksy’s continuing high profile has brought with it an explosion in international demand for his work. In response Andipa Gallery is pleased to announce BANKSY | WAR BOUTIQUE, an exhibition showcasing an un-paralleled collection of iconic and sought after paintings by Banksy, from the collection of Andipa Gallery, one of the largest in the UK.

    Original works on display will include Banksy's Laugh Now, a unique painting depicting one of the artist's emblematic monkeys, scaled-up to human size, set upon the panels of a wooden door. A rare work that succeeds in projecting all of the character and raw charisma of a street piece despite being a fully authenticated studio work. Girl with Balloon, one of Banksy's most iconic images, which infamously appeared on the Palestinian side of the West Bank Barrier, and Custardised Oil, a work of satirical humour distorting traditional aristocratic imagery.

    Andipa Gallery was the first gallery to put on a major exhibition of Banksy’s work in the secondary market, which included the largest Banksy canvas ever to come onto the market, and which attracted an astonishing 25,000 visitors. Banksy and War Boutique will show a selection of the most iconic original works by Banksy.

    No gallery represents Banksy. The works on show during this exhibition are from the collection of Andipa Gallery, one of the largest collections of works by the artist in the UK.

    Exhibition information

    Exhibition Dates: 9 June to 9 July 2011
    Private View 6.00pm to 9.00pm 8 June 2011

    Opening Times: Monday to Friday 9:30am – 6.00pm, Saturday 11.00am – 6.00pm
    Andipa Gallery, 162 Walton Street, London, SW3 2JL Tel: 020 7589 2371 /
    Closest tube stations: Knightsbridge and South Kensington

    The artist War Boutique, Acoris Andipa, Director of Andipa Gallery and Claire Mander, Head of Contemporary, are available for interviews.

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