A trip to the Banksy exhibition – Moco Museum, Amsterdam

Hey guys! Welcome back to another blogpost. This week’s been a fun one, with another family visit and plenty of hopping around from place to place! Our first escapade was a trip down to Amsterdam to check out the Banksy exhibition at Amsterdam’s Moco Museum, so let’s get started!

First, a few of the basics!


Moco Museum,
Honthorststraat 20 (Museumplein),
1071 DE,

Opening times:

Sun-Thurs: 9am-7pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-8pm

Should I book tickets?

Whilst it’s not always a necessity, booking your tickets on the official Moco website guarantees your spot in a designated time slot. You’ll get to swan right in and miss the queues.

Also, if you book online, you get a little bit of money off your ticket, which is always a lovely bit of sugar coating, isn’t it!

Let’s get to it!

We headed down to Amsterdam to meet some gorgeous family members who wanted to come and check out our neck of the woods. They originally flew in a few days ahead to enjoy a good old geek session in the Rijks and Van Gogh museums before we appeared though, and with that planted firmly in my head, I wondered if they’d fancy a wander around the Moco Museum and its Banksy exhibition too.

Now, I’m not a modern or contemporary art fan. It doesn’t do anything for me. What can I say, I just prefer the old fashioned stuff? I like to enter into a long gone world and read the history behind it. Part of the beauty for me is the mystery of the past.

Why Banksy then?

Guess what, I’m also not politically minded. When people mention Brexit I just shudder and hope no more questions follow. What I enjoy about Banksy’s work is the tongue in cheek nature that runs parallel to the more serious message.

We arrived at about quarter past 11 for our time slot of half past and walked straight in, past the crowd forming at the door. I was quite taken aback by how small the museum actually was. It was also pretty busy. I wasn’t so surprised by that.

We were told to take the staircases to the top of the building, and make our way down, which seemed like sterling advice, so we made our way up there.

Now, I don’t want to give too much away about the museum, as I know that I personally prefer to explore something new for myself – and maybe you do too. In that case, I’ll add a little photo diary of what we saw. I hope you enjoy it!

A gloomy day, perfect for a few inside shenanigans!
Rude Copper (2002) – Banksy
Moco Museum, Amsterdam

Ok, so naturally, Rude Copper made us all giggle a little bit. How could it not?! But what’s Banksy’s message?

A theory is that Banksy wants us to take caution in the trust we give to authority figures. The forceful middle finger gesturing at the onlooker almost appears to jump out of the image itself. It’s a real kick in the teeth, and not something we would ever consider to come from a policeman.

Here the benevolent stereotype of the Bobby is turned on its head as the figure glares out at us, half in shadow, with an insolent stare, suggesting in fact that he might be an impersonator, rather than a true copper, who has adopted the uniform in a sharp satire of modern policing methods.

Words taken from MyArtbroker
Christ With Shopping Bags (2004)
Moco Museum, Amsterdam

Yet another piece of art that made me laugh initially.

Banksy’s message with his iconic Christ With Shopping Bags image, mocks consumerism of the masses around Christmas. Banksy is letting us know just how far we’ve fallen when thinking about the real message of Christmas. Instead of remembering the Christmas story & an important time in the Christian calendar, we have become preoccupied and obsessed with how many ‘things’ we can possess. Naturally, this is most obviously seen at Christmas.

Rage, Flower Thrower (2003), was a piece originally seen in Jerusalem, and was seen by many to be a symbol of peace and hope in an area riddled with destruction. It’s quite possibly one of Banksy’s most well-known pieces, with the symbol of hope being the bouquet of flowers which takes the place of a molotov cocktail.

Forgive Us For Our Trespassing (2010)
Moco Museum, Amsterdam

It’s a possibility that Banksy is showing his mixed feelings about being a graffiti artist with this piece of artwork, which features a young boy on his knees asking for forgiveness for defacing a wall.

Forgive us our trespasses is the 7th sentence in the English Catholic Lord’s Prayer, or Our Father, the most common Christian prayer.

Trespassing is also strongly associated with grafitti and street art, as street artists have to trespass on private property to get a certain tag or artwork on a particular wall.

In this work, Banksy took a very literal approach by showing a church window, which is tagged with colours by different artists. In front of the work, a boy is praying for forgiveness.

Words from the Moco Museum, Amsterdam
Cardinal Sin (2011)
Moco Museum, Amsterdam

Needless to say we were pretty astounded by the artwork that we discovered, and I loved seeing it in reality. It always makes it that little more real, and everything looks a little more vibrant, don’t you agree?

Whilst I wouldn’t say I was blown away by the museum, we had a pretty fantastic experience and uncovered a few things we hadn’t known before. I haven’t grown to love modern or contemporary art any more or less, but I’m glad I saw what I did.

Are you a fan of Banksy? What’s your favourite image or message?

Let me know in the comments!


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