While working as an editor for Sleaze Nation magazine, Steve Lazarides discovered street artist Banksy on a photo shoot in Bristol in 2001. In the years that followed, he brought Banksy's iconic images (and others from the urban art scene) off the sides of buildings and into galleries and private collections. As he pulled Banksy into the spotlight, the artist's prints increase 10 times in price, virtually overnight. Often, the mysterious, hooded artist's pieces were bought and sold a handful of times before they were even completed.
And now the man that started the Banksy street art craze, which recently peaked with the Oscar-nominated film Exit Through the Gift Shop, is turning his attention to Art Basel Miami Beach. The Financial Times reported that Lazarides plans to produce a mega show with Live Nation and the Tribeca Film Festival during Basel. Paper Magazine reported that he was indeed sniffing around downtown Miami this past December searching for a venue that could fit nearly 100,000 people.
Here are the details from the FT:
Lazarides most audacious move yet will see him take on the might of Art
Basel Miami Beach in December, with his biggest US show yet, revolving
around a venue with a capacity in excess of 90,000. He hopes to
challenge the self-declared "most important art show in the United
States" with a range of crossover events incorporating both music and
film, working with Live Nation, the entertainment group, and the Tribeca
Hey, Laz: Thanks for discovering Banksy and all, but the last thing
Miami needs during Art Basel week is another gigantic mish-mash of arty
festivities. The art fair themselves are so massive and sprawling that
the events that really stand out are the small and well-curated (Seven
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Miami), the uber-specific (Hello Kitty's Small Art Miami -- although that's a loose interpretation of art), and the exclusive (The Island). We'd much rather see a
carefully edited survey show of London street art. But considering
you and Banksy aren't tight anymore, maybe that's too tall an order.