Death on a dodgem: Grim Reaper on Glasgow streets as part of Banksy’s hit show

Late-night visitors at Banksy’s Glasgow show were greeted by death on a dodgem at the Gallery of Modern Art.

On Friday evening, a figure of the Grim Reaper prowled the city’s Royal Exchange Square in a remote-controlled dodgem while Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees blared on repeat through speakers in order to encourage passers-by to attend the show.

It has been a feature in two previous exhibitions in New York in 2013 and at Dismaland in Weston-Super-Mare in 2015.

Outside the Goma, the reaper did donuts and charged maniacally at passers-by as it caught the attention of onlookers.

The elusive artist’s first solo show in 14 years arrived in Glasgow under a shroud of secrecy last month, Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art for the first time showing stencils used by the street artist to create many of his works in his new exhibition Cut & Run.

Banksy’s grim reaper roams the streets of Glasgow (Ryan McDougall/PA)

The artist said he took the show to Glasgow because his favourite work of art – the statue of the Duke of Wellington, which has a traffic cone on top of it – is situated just outside the gallery.

George and Jane Barbour were out in Glasgow when they decided to attend the show.

George said the show was “hilariously funny, adding Banksy is “amazing, has a great sense of humour and said the Grim Reaper was “really funny”.

Jane said: “It looked a lot of fun, I wish we could’ve got a shot! I think they could have sold tickets for that bit.”

Banksy's grim reaper
Banksy’s grim reaper mascot outside the Gallery of Modern Art (Ryan McDougall/PA)

Charlie said they had hoped to attend Dismaland but unfortunately missed it.

Louise said: “It’s a one off – maybe it will tour. Hopefully it’ll go down to tour the UK, but was brilliant.”

She added the reaper was “hilarious, very clever!”

Charlie said: “It’s quite interesting the use of the scythe as the top bit with the sparkler.”

John and Laura Brown found the show both “unbelievable and “absolutely amazing.”

John added: “Even if you aren’t interested in it, there’s so much to see in it.

“I thought (the reaper) was quite cool, the truck with the animals on it was quite spooky!”

Laura said: “Absolutely incredible. The whole thing was incredible.

“Real sketches and just reading everything, getting more information on him as well – so cool!”

Banksy’s original grim reaper painting Brace Yourself!
Banksy’s original grim reaper painting Brace Yourself! (PA)

On the reaper, she said: “That’s what pulled me in tonight actually.

“I live round the corner and I was like, ‘I dunno’, I was too busy, and then I saw the sign outside saying it’s going to be open for later, so that’s why we came in. That drew us in for sure!”

When the show was launched, Banksy said: “I’ve kept these stencils hidden away for years, mindful they could be used as evidence in a charge of criminal damage.

“That moment seems to have passed, so now I’m exhibiting them in a gallery as works of art. I’m not sure which is the greater crime.”

The exhibition has been hugely popular with day tickets selling out quickly, but art fans can still take a late-night trip or turn up on the day.

Nearby Max’s Bar on Queen Street in Glasgow is serving free Irn-Bru margaritas to anyone holding a late night show ticket.

Tickets for Cut and Run are available via the show’s website at

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