Exhibit Highlight: Banksy at Keszler Gallery
BY ALEXANDER ADLER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JUSTIN SUTCLIFFE
Barton and Keszler’s vision came full circle over a period of four years, during which they sought out Banksy’s graffiti around the world and began salvaging pieces in preparation for this project. It was an arduous process that included mediating tiffs between Palestinian and Israeli truckers before having a fresco specialist conserve the reconstituted stone, stucco and board onto which the images had been painted. After that, the final steps—securing the power plant space and shipping the gigantic slabs of concrete across the Atlantic Ocean—seemed facile by comparison.
“The space on North Sea was immediately in our minds with its cavernous ceilings, steel girders and raw aesthetic,” says Keszler, who worked closely with Barton and Jon Foster of the Southampton Building Department to make the space accessible for the exhibit. “In many ways, it was the space that made the show.”
Keszler became interested in Banksy early in the artist’s career, handling many of his iconic street works through his New York galleries. Now, with Barton’s help, he has assembled one of the most substantial and expansive collections of site-specific salvaged works available today. Whether Banksy catches wind of it and pays a visit—well, don’t bank on it. 200 N. Sea Road, Southampton. Keszler Gallery, 5 and 9 Main St., Southampton, 204-0353; keszlergallery.com