MAY EXHIBITIONS YOU REALLY NEED TO SEE
Get your slice of culture with these incredible exhibitions during May.
THE ART OF BANKSY
50 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LJ
On until May 22
Having enjoyed a year-long run in Covent Garden, the elusive Banksy will be packing up his work and taking it home on May 22. The artist, who has been voted the UK's favourite, probably won't be doing the clean-up himself (though with his track record, you never know - have a good look at the janitors, just in case) but he most definitely did create this collection of politically astute, funny and thought provoking pieces that shine a light on the ludicrous and often cruel behaviour of human beings and our leaders. The show also explores Banksy's charity work (he's raised over £30 million for worthy causes), the role of street art in effecting social change and the way in which he has inspired the public and fellow artists to speak out against unjust behaviour. Take this last chance to get up close to over 100 original works and see why this exhibition tour has already racked up over a million visitors worldwide.
**Fancy winning a pair of tickets to see The Art of Banksy? Well that's exactly what our subscribers can do this month! Click the link at the bottom of this article to join up and put your name in the hat**
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
81 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LD
With nearly 250 pieces by 34 artists from around the world, this is quite possibly the biggest miniature exhibition in the world. That’s because the ‘miniature’ refers to the subject matter - this is a collection of teeny tiny scenes, from lego characters surfing waves of coloured pencils to tennis players battling it out atop a watermelon; paraglider using snail shells as parachutes and a Loch Ness monster made from an old, green shoelace. It’s as quirky and twee as it sounds, but for all the daft creativity on display there’s also some real, mindblowing talent, especially when you check out the detail on the intricate street scenes, famous landmarks and fantasy houses.
This has been much anticipated since word spread about its previous stop in Paris, so grab your tickets early and enjoy a few hours of feeling like King Kong.
FOOTBALL: DESIGNING THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, London W8 6AG
On until August 29
Football has long held a place in our hearts, but how often do we consider the magnificent design processes that make it The Beautiful Game? This fascinating exhibition looks at everything from the way our stadiums have evolved into architecturally pioneering cathedrals of sport, and how the humble football boot has transformed from a regular, leather boot to a lightweight, fly-knit piece of technologically advanced clothing?
Everything from kit design to the graphic design of club badges, posters and flags is covered here, alongside thought-provoking stories about how grass-roots clubs are fighting back against the over-commercialisation of the elite sporting leagues. A must-see for football fans or those with a passion for design.
AMONG THE MACHINES
Zabludowicz Collection, 176 Prince of Wales Road, London, NW5 3PT
On until June 17
Among The Machines looks at how humans interact with machines and features augmented reality artworks that take you right to the heart of our modern lives at the behest of our phones and computers. Are machines really going to surpass our capabilities? How much do we really know about our own, human consciousness? Thirteen international artists investigator these questions and more, through sculpture, video and, of course, plenty of technological wizardry.
YAYOI KUSAMA: INFINITY MIRROR ROOMS
Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
On until June 12 - September 30
Yayoi Kusama's Instagram-friendly Infinity Mirror Rooms has been so wildly popular that you've probably seen it plastered across your friends' social pages for the past few months. You're already late to the party, but time is still running out.- at the time of writing this article, there are no tickets for May but you can just about nab some spaces in mid-June if you're quick. The run has been extended until September 30 but full tickets for those extra dates have yet to be released, so take this as your warning to snap them up immediately if you want to see one of the capital's most talked about exhibitions.
SURREALISM BEYOND BORDERS
Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
On until August 29
The history of the revolutionary art movement is rewritten in this groundbreaking exhibition.
Most of us only know the conventional narratives of Surrealism, focussed on Paris in the Twenties. The publication of the first Manifesto of Surrealism took place in Paris in 1924, but its ideology reached far beyond that.
And this extraordinary show takes us on a journey across the world and covers half a century, illustrating how artists globally have been inspired and united by Surrealism, from extraordinary feminists to Vodou priest artists and black power activists.
The show argues that Surrealism is a state of mind, and not a style and is a fascinating new take on it with mind-blowing research.
MEXICAN GENIUSES: A FRIDA AND DIEGO IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
Retail Park, Unit 1 Canada Water, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 2XU
From May 28
The lives and work of the art world's most celebrated couple, Frida Kahlo and Diego Riveras are brought to life, in this immersive and mesmerising digital experience, using the latest video-mapping technology.
Engage with more than 300 projections, fromminiature to monumental, and watch as Frida and Diego’s brushstrokes paint the walls around you.
Don a virtual reality headset and travel to the Mexican streets that were Frida and Diego’s greatest source of inspiration for portraits and paintings. Take in the sights and sounds and watch a vibrant world unfold around you in this visually-rich virtual journey.
The show welcomes fans of all ages and younger guests can participate in age-appropriate, fun and engaging workshops. Buy tickets
DAMIEN HIRST: NATURAL HISTORY
Gagosian, 6-24 Britannia Street, London WC1X 9JD
Whether he's pinning Butterflies to a canvas or chopping up sharks and dipping them in formaldehyde, Damien Hirst is at his controversial best when he's being mean to animals. And if that's your thing, you'll find plenty of it at Natural History, his latest London exhibition. It's part Natural History Museum, part art-gallery and you'll find everything from sheep to does, a zebra and even a 'Unicorn', all chopped, preserved and presented for your macabre pleasure. Sure, it's controversial - and there's no doubting this is a rehash of Hirst's work that shows little fresh creativity or spark - but there's something wild about seeing these iconic pieces in the flesh.
VAN GOGH: THE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
106 Commercial Street, E1 6LZ
Extended through May
Giving Van Gogh a new lease of life 130 years after his death is no mean feat, but this new exhibition manages to do just that. The Immersive Experience invites you to step inside his most famous paintings, using 360 projections, 15,000ft screens and virtual reality headsets.
The beauty of this show is that you have seen it all before - the paintings are etched into our collective minds, which makes it all the more enthralling to stroll through Starry Night or take a seat in The Bedroom. Here, you can not only experience them on a scale never before seen, but also explore the inspiration behind the paintings and learn secrets about the the larger-than-life artist.