Pin It
via Instagram

Banksy anonymously submits art, gets rejected by exhibition

‘Vote to Love’ didn’t get much love, originally

A piece of art was submitted to the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition under the name Bryan S Gaakman, and it was ultimately rejected for the show. Speaking through his official Instagram, the artist known as Banksy revealed it was he who entered the piece under the creative pseudonym.

The exhibition, known as the world’s largest show open to public submissions, is co-curated by Grayson Perry. This summer’s show is dedicated to the “democratic rough and tumble” and the turbulent political and social climate. Banksy was later contacted by Perry, not knowing he had already sent in work and been rejected.

It’s a ‘Vote to Leave’ poster for the June 2016 EU referendum, with a plaster-covered heart balloon obscuring the lettering to read ‘Vote to Love’.

The Bristol graffiti artist wrote on Instagram: “I entered an early version of this into the RA summer exhibition under the pseudonym Bryan S Gaakman – an anagram of ‘banksy anagram’. It was refused. Then a month later I got a mail from the coordinator Grayson Perry asking me to submit something so I sent it again. It’s now hanging in gallery 3.” 

Last year, Banksy debuted two murals in tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat, celebrating the New York artist’s retrospective exhibit in the Barbican, London. He also unveiled an anti-weapon artwork as commentary on the London arms fair.

In a statement provided to the New York Times, the Royal Academy asserted that the Banksy piece “currently in the summer exhibition is different than the original version submitted”.

It’s priced at £350 million in the exhibition materials. Banksy’s biggest sale record was at auction for $1.87 million, for ‘Keep it Spotless’. The ‘Vote to Love’ piece’s price references the ludicrous and later retracted claim by the Vote Leave campaign that £350 million would be spent on the NHS if the UK left the EU.