BRISTOL.- Bristol's City Museum & Art Gallery
presents a unique collaboration between the city's foremost cultural institution and one of the region's most infamous artists.
Banksy has gained notoriety in recent years by using stencils to paint images on a diverse array of outdoor locations. This is the first exhibition in a three storey Edwardian museum.
Throughout the summer, visitors will find some unusual specimens amongst the museum's permanent collection - a stonehenge made from portable toilets greets visitors on arrival, a burnt out ice cream van now replaces the enquiries desk and the life size historic biplane suspended from the ceiling now provides refuge for a Guantanamo bay escapee. Banksy has filled the museum with his own wry take on classical art.
The Banksy UK Summer show features more than 100 works of art, including animatronics and installations; it is his largest exhibition yet, featuring 78 new works. Reaction to the show was positive, with large numbers of visitors have come to Bristol to see it. Long lines have formed outside of the museum of up to one hour.
"This is the first show I've ever done where taxpayers' money is being used to hang my pictures up rather than scrape them off," Banksy was quoted by the BBC as saying. "This show is my vision of the future."
Banksy is a pseudo-anonymous English graffiti artist. He is believed to be a native of Yate, South Gloucestershire, near Bristol and to have been born in 1974, but there is substantial public uncertainty about his identity and personal and biographical details. According to Tristan Manco, Banksy "was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s." His artworks are often satirical pieces of art on topics such as politics, culture, and ethics. His street art, which combines graffiti writing with a distinctive stencilling technique, is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass who maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His art has appeared in cities around the world. Banksy's work was born out of the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.
Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti or mount exhibitions of screenprints in commercial galleries. Art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.