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Thursday, 23 July 2009


Yes. So. Banksy.

If you've not heard of him, he's a graffiti artist who's risen to the upper echelons of the current art world. And no-one knows what he looks like.

A short while ago, visitors to and staff of Bristol Museum turned up to find the place closed. Turned out Banksy was in there, putting work up. The current exhibit 'Banksy vs Museum' is the result.

One room is chock full of his own work, from massive paintings to smaller, cheeky pictures. Some are too obvious to be funny (a picture stencilled with 'This Is Not A Photo Opportunity' and a painting showing the House of Commons filled with chimps are two of the weaker pieces), but there are more than enough works of art to compensate. Highlights in the 'Banksy Room' include a picture stencilled with 'The secret to great art is in the composition' (where the last half of 'composition' is obscured by the frame) and a Victorian painting unchanged apart from a pair of googly eyes.

In the 'main hall' are a series of cages. Again, there're a few obvious jokes (fish fingers in a fish bowl, a rabbit putting on make-up) but these are also eclipsed by the truly original pieces. Perhaps the most disturbing of which is a large cage containing Tweety Pie, who sits there, slowly, wearily breathing, completely bald and looking more like a deformed old man than a cartoon star.

There are plenty more bits of Banksy scattered throughout the museum - and it is this that is arguably the main point of the exhibit. By interspersing his work among the existing paintings. models, etc, he forces you to look closely at ALL the art. Clever bugger.

If you're in Bristol before 31st August, I recommend it. It's free. You just need to be prepared for a 2 1/2 hour wait if you're unlucky hahaha oh dear.

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