The Street-Artist known as Banksy returned this month to his home town of Bristol for an exhibition in the Bristol City Museum. And it seems that the whole city is being taken over with street-art fever, for only last month the gilded halls of the Royal Academy of the West of England hosted the best of Bristol’s street-artists in their Crimes of Passion exhibition.
There used to be many Banksy pieces around the streets of Bristol, but before he hit the big time the Bristol City Council was only too quick to roller over his works. Now, if they so much bring the whitewash out there’s a public outcry. There are still a handful of major pieces in Bristol if you know where to look – I can walk past two or three on my way to work if I choose.
These days Banksy has an international repuation as well as being a local hero, as the queues down the road last weekend outside the museum witnessed. The exhibits are pretty much all new stuff although the wicked and subversive humour is unchanged.
There’s a burned out ice cream van in the lobby and the jokes are spread around the whole museum so that you have to take a second glance before you work out what’s the original work of art and what’s the Banksy look-alike.
The exhibition is on until 31st August at the Bristol City Museum and it’s free.
Thanks to Jason Blait for the photos on Flickr