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Meet Hazis Vardar: Founder of the Banksy Museum

Hazis Vardar, the founder of the Banksy Museum, chatted about the new museum’s opening in New York.

Banksy Museum
Banksy Museum. Photo Courtesy of Banksy Museum.
Banksy Museum. Photo Courtesy of Banksy Museum.

Hazis Vardar, the founder of the Banksy Museum, chatted about the new museum’s opening in New York.

On opening this new museum in New York, Vardar said, “New York is one of the cities where Banksy decided to make a notable part his artwork, some are still there and you can see them, and bringing the rest of his art in NYC was the logical thing to do.”

“The world is divided in two parts, New York and the rest of the world. Hahaha, I’m exaggerating a bit, but it’s almost true,” he noted.

“So, of course, being here is very exciting, my biggest fear was the reaction of the New Yorkers, and now that I can read the great Google reviews, I can start to sleep again,” he added.

Vardar on what makes this museum unique

When asked what makes this museum unique, he responded, “What makes this museum unique is its conception, the fact that we break the usuals rules to stay faithful to the codes of street art makes the whole thing.” 

He continued, “Instead of just hanging frames and canvases, I decided to recreate a street environment. The artworks have directly been painted on the walls, just to be seen, they can’t be sold.”

“The whole creative team behind it wishes to remain anonymous. Of course it changes the whole thing, for street art, size does matter, and we have recorded noises of the street, even copy the manhole covers, so people can see in which city the original art work has been done,” he explained.

Vardar on his job description as museum founder

Regarding his job description as founder, he said, “When I decided to create the Banksy Museum in Paris, everybody told me that I was crazy and that I don’t respect the rules of art. In Paris, it is considered as a crime. That was the moment I knew I made the right choice.”

“So, taking the risk and going on an unusual path is the choice of the founder of any project,” he noted. “Art is governed by very precise laws that nobody knows, but you have to respect them. And of course I did not.”

The digital age

On being a museum founder in the digital age, now with streaming, technology, and social media being so prevalent, he said, “I feel very proud. In the digital world you have mostly followers, so I choose to stay close to the spirit of the street. Revolution comes, always, from the street.”

Utilizing technology in his daily routine

Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine, he said, “Every aspect of technology creeps into our daily lives, sometimes in wonderful ways, like  Zoom, plane flight booking, quick Chinese food delivery but at the  same time technology can take us farther away from true thought and feelings and  homogenize our art and culture.”

Future plans

On his future plans, he shared, “We are looking to bring Banksy’s art to the entire United States and will be announcing future museum locations shortly.”

Success

On his definition of the word success, he said, “Artistically speaking, perhaps this is best answered with the following quote from Banksy, himself: ‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’.” 

Closing thoughts on The Banksy Museum

For fans and viewers, Vardar concluded, “Banksy’s artwork are reflections of our world. They allow us to see everything that is going wrong and show us all, as individuals, how we can try to make it better.”

To learn more about the Banksy Museum, check out its official homepage, and follow the museum on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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