BRISTOL 80 – SOMETHING IN BRISTOL OF WHICH I CAN TRUTHFULLY SAY I’M PROUD

 

 

Banksy-stencil
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Banksy painting, on the wall of a sexual health clinic beside the bottom of Bristol’s possibly fashionable Park Street; 6 Aug 2014.

I have absolutely no civic pride.  I live in Bristol, its a place to live – and that’s it.  It may have this, it may have that, and next year its going to be a Green Capital or something like that, but who really cares – frankly, who gives a damn???

But now, loving places is quite something else, and although I harbour no amour for Bristol, there are many places in this world that I do love – the Somerset Levels (obviously); St Ives with the sun shining and the tide in; rural Wiltshire; Dorset; that little settlement in Kenya’s Kaisut Desert where every day, decades ago, I watched vultures float above a small hill – the list is long, and the more I think about it the longer it gets.

But if I’m proud of anything in this city that I inhabit, it is surely the bizarre image above.  Why?  Well this is  painting by the Bristol graffiti artist Banksy, who started off as a teenager creating street art here, and then went on to become world famous and wealthy as a practitioner in the same medium – despite no one (except his close friends, I presume) knowing who he actually is.

And, of course, in the beginning, he was just another kid with a spray can, “defacing his urban surroundings”, and The Establishment (which may include Bristol City Council …) loathed and despised him as such, but then his absolutely wonderful, inspired and inspirational work started bringing in mega bucks, and suddenly he was respectable and Bristol’s cultural icon and famed son (although still, no one knew who he actually was) – and I laughed, and am still laughing, at … the hoops The Establishment had to jump through.

And Bristol City Council actually managed to ask Bristolians if they wanted this mural, which is in a very prominent position on one of the city’s main streets, to remain – and they did – and every time I pass it, people are looking at and photographing it! 

And – I must mention this because I regard it as Banksy’s greatest coup –  in strict secrecy he mounted an exhibition at the city’s museum and art gallery in 2009, >>> which attracted more than 300,000 visitors – over 4,000 people per day, the biggest thing the museum’s ever seen, the huge queues snaking away from its doors around Bristol’s streets.  Way to go, man, oh way to go!

So what are we looking at?  A woman in underwear is trying to mollify her husband who is angrily looking out of the window for her lover who, naked but (so far) unseen, is hanging on to the window by one hand.  Sometime after this mural appeared, it was the victim of a blue paintball attack.  The blue paint has been cleaned off the building’s walls to leave pale patches – but of course it can’t be cleaned off the mural itself, where it remains.

Canon G11 PowerShot at 56mm (equivalent); 800 ISO.
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

31 Responses to BRISTOL 80 – SOMETHING IN BRISTOL OF WHICH I CAN TRUTHFULLY SAY I’M PROUD

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    Amazing!!! Made a wonderful reading too! I was wondering what will happen in India if someone makes such a mural? He and his employer would be behind the bars for obscene display…lolll. India which is proud of Khajuraho and kamsutra has become prudish over the years and i personally feel that this is the reason behind crime against the women.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      My friend, you may be right, and that’s a very sad thought. Certainly these crimes against women are receiving international press coverage, which is a very good thing of course – but not something that is doing India’s international image any good at all. It is shocking to think that such things occur. A

      Like

  2. krikitarts says:

    Street art is definitely an art form, and this is definitely the work of an artist of merit. Thanks for spreading word of his work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. paula graham says:

    Interesting comments to his amazing art, love the paintball shots fired at it.

    Like

  4. I have nothing to say – ‘cept… What did she see in that guy?!?!
    Interesting, as always, bud. 😉

    Like

  5. lumar1298 says:

    Nice painting…

    Like

  6. roblowephoto says:

    I wonder if, perhaps, Banksy will return, in secret, to touch up his work and restore it; or maybe he sees such blue splatters of rebellion (perhaps) as an enhancement to his piece? For sure, it all tells a story. Good post! R

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you very much, Rob – glad this gets to you! I think I agree – that the blue spatters add a fresh and pleasant touch of rebellion >>> or maybe they are an indication of the piece evolving or growing older in its dynamic urban setting. Adrian

      Like

  7. Sallyann says:

    Maybe Banksy could be petitioned, on social media perhaps, to quietly touch up the blue painted areas himself? 🙂

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Good thinking!!! That he’s still around this area is evidenced by recent murals that have appeared in Cheltenham and Bristol – the snag now being that they’re worth vast sums of cash, so that “custody battles” have erupted over them. But when I’m waiting at the bus stop, which is just along from this painting, I shall keep glancing up … 🙂

      Like

  8. Dina says:

    Banksy is amazing and his career is more than fascinating. Thanks for sharing this great reading!
    Have a happy weekend,
    Dina

    Like

  9. I lived in Bath between 1974 and 1978 and often went to Bristol. Remember Park Street as there were many artisans/artists living there and there was (is???) even a craft/arts centre at one of the corners. And yes Banksy is known, even here in Stanford, South Africa (well; at least by me 😉 ). And I remember the ‘establishment’; quite similar to that in Bath but more fun I made with the ‘wannabees’; licking the heels of the ‘established’. Banksy surely made a statement. I love it!!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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