13 June - 31 August 2009
Open Daily 10 am- 5 pm (Currently last entry to the museum is 4 pm - queuing times are currently up to an hour, so the museum recommend joining the queue by 3 pm.)
Anonymous and infamous graffiti artist Banksy has returned to his home town of Bristol in western England for his biggest exhibition to date, which includes 70 new works.
Banksy has gained notoriety in recent years for his street art and using stencils to paint images on a diverse array of outdoor locations.
Image: Banksy graffiti art, Brick Lane, East End of London, 2004.
People have speculated on Banksy's identity in the past. Male, born in Bristol, England, around 1974 or 1975. If the Bristol Museum staff know Banksy's identity or have even seen him or spoken to him, they're not telling. This whole project at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery had been shrouded in mystery. . . it's a unique collaboration between an outstanding cultural institution and one of the region's most infamous artists.
For the exhibition launch, Banksy was quoted by the BBC as saying:
"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. This show is my vision of the future."
At the Bristol Museum, you'll see many of Banksy's works are hidden among the art museum's more traditional paintings, mimicking a 2003 stunt when he smuggled his own work into the Tate Britain gallery that went undiscovered for hours.
At the Banksy versus Bristol Museum exhibit, visitors will find unusual items amongst the museum's permanent collection, such as a "stonehenge" made from portable toilets greeting visitors on arrival, a burnt-out ice cream van which now replaces the inquiries desk, and a life-size historic biplane suspended from the ceiling which now provides refuge for a Guantanamo Bay escapee. There's swimming fish sticks in a fish bowl; a caged "Tweetie" bird, all wrinkled and naked; a lounging leopard "coat" in a tree; chicken "nuggets" feeding. Lots of fun stuff. And, of course, Banksy has filled the museum with his own take on "classical" art. Love him or not, Banksy has your attention, and he says plenty through his art. If you're in the area of Bristol, England, check out Banksy versus Bristol Museum - free admission, too!!
In the meantime, e-n-j-o-y this video look of Banksy versus Bristol Museum:
The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery is situated in an Edwardian Baroque building on Queen's Road, next to the Wills University building. It is one of the few museums to have been awarded designated status by the U.K. government.
To see my earlier posts with a video: