Banksy’s anonymous submission to the Royal Academy exhibition was rejected

The EU Referendum-inspired piece made it to the gallery in the end, though.

Banksy has revealed that a piece of art he submitted under a pseudonym for the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition was rejected.

The artwork in question is a twist on the ‘Vote to Leave’ poster from 2016’s referendum campaign. On Banksy’s version, the letters ‘e’ and ‘a’ are covered by a heart balloon – making it read ‘Vote to Love’. It was submitted under the name Bryan S Gaakman.

After being initially rejected from the show – aiming to portray the turbulent political and social climate – Banksy said that he then received a call from the exhibition’s co-curator.


“I entered an early version of this into the RA summer exhibition under the pseudonym Bryan S Gaakman – an anagram of ‘banksy anagram’,” he posted on Instagram. “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.”

Check out the photo below:

The show is the world’s largest exhibition open to public submissions.

Meanwhile, the elusive graffiti artist unveiled a mural in New York earlier this year. Banksy created the piece to show support for a Turkish artist who was jailed for three years over a painting.

The powerful mural featured black tally marks – representing both jail bars and the duration of Zehra Dogan’s imprisonment. Dogan’s face was also included behind one set of the bars.


Banksy’s true identity still remains a huge mystery to this day.