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Bristol Street Art blog | 'Banksy versus Bristol Museum' - opening day


'Banksy versus Bristol Museum' - opening day

Banksy museum sign

For those interested in street art and living in Bristol, this year has been particularly amazing. Things kicked off with the RWA ‘Crimes of Passion’ exhibition in March, followed by Upfest in June and now, to top it all, Banksy’s ‘Banksy versus Bristol Museum’ show.

This I had to see, so undeterred by the talk of massive queues, I went along to the opening day of Banksy’s latest show in Bristol. Here are some of the highlights.

I arrived just after 8am and was surprised to find only a handful of people waiting outside the Bristol Museum. I half expect a massive crowd, so obviously I was glad I hadn’t got there any earlier. The atmosphere was very relaxed, with people just chatting and been very well behaved. I was lucky to meet a Twitter buddy who kept me company during the wait.

Queue for Banksy versus Bristol Museum
This is the queue 30 minutes before the museum doors openned

Bristol Mayor arrives at Banksy show
Unexpected appearance by Bristol’s Mayor

itv interview banksy fan in queue
ITV crew interviewing a Banksy fan from front of queue

Finally, at around 10:05 we are let in and after a quick hand shake from the Major of Bristol, which was a bit weird. We are let loose on the museum.

On the right as you enter you are greeted with part of Banksy’s Stonehenge inspired sculpture made from portaloos, the same ones that were first shown at Glastonbury 2007. You see, the sneak peek photo I took was authentic.

Banksy portaloos Bristol museum

Banksy bird on portaloo

The museum’s main hall is packed full of Banksy’s work, including notably a burnt out ice cream van and a riot policeman on a rocking horse.

Banksy riot cop rocking horse

Banksy ice cream van detail

Banksy ice cream van close-up

Banksy statue bristol museum

Banksy buddha with neck brace

Beyond the main hall is a darkened space which contains Banksy’s animatronics. These are strangely animated animals, sausages and swimming fish fingers. The photos don’t do these pieces justice, here’s a video show their movement – video of Banksy’s animatronics

Animated banksy rabbit

Bnaksy swimming fish fingers

Banksy chicken nuggets

Banksy animated twitty

Animatronic Bnaksy sausages

Animatronic salami Banksy

Animated surveillance camera by Banksy

Banksy’s oil paintings, which are spread around the bulding along side the museum’s usual exhibits, are a major part of this show. Keep your eyes open though, some are easier to spot than others.

Funny moustache, nose & glasses banksy

Play arrow on banksy painting

Chimps in parliament by Banksy

UFOs attack banksy painting

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Plastic surgery painting Banksy

Plastic surgery painting close-up

Abandoned car Banksy painting

Easyjet Banksy painting

Muslim women with saucy apron Banksy

Couple have sex in car Banksy painting

Rat painting over Damien Hirst dot piece

Banksy's Home sweet home painting

Field worker taking rest Banksy painting

Boat coming out of frame Banksy painting

It’s not just the paintings that are spread around the museum, there are also a whole host of objects that have infiltrated the museum’s glass cabinets. They include a stuffed rat, a muzzled lamb and a fake pre-historic painting.

Banksy rat with rucksack and spray can

Banksy pre-historic painting

Lamb with mussel by Banksy

Large mock-up of Bethlehem  Banksy

10 pound notes with Princess Diana photo Banksy

Banksy stencil original Bristol museum

This Banksy show is big and you’d do well to see everything in a single visit. One reason being the time needed to find some of the pieces, but this isn’t frustrating, in fact it’s rather fun hunting round amongst the museum exhibits. Of course there is plenty to see without too much effort, the whole ground floor is packed full of Banksy’s sculptures, stencils, paintings and an actual recreation of his studio, which is definitely worth seeing.
What struck me most was how rich Banksy’s work is now, besides the traditional stencil pieces, he is not afraid of experimenting with new technologies, techniques and mediums. It’s difficult to know which direction he will take now, but it will no doubt be controversial and unexpected, I can’t wait to find out.

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