Thursday, 23 July 2009

Banksy vs Bristol Museum, Banksy defaced

Entrance to Bristol Museum

The door slammed as Mouse strolled in triumphantly, sunglasses in one paw, and a box of cream cakes in the other. 'I have been out studying graffiti' he announces, giving me that kind of nod which suggests someone should put the kettle on and it's probably not going to be him. He has of course been to the Banksy exhibition, Banksy vs Bristol Museum. It is busy.

The start of the queue

The middle of the queue

The end of the queue

'The museum is a fine museum in itself' he declares ' and it holds a pretty decent collection of artwork'. So what do you make of the Banksy exhibition I ask whilst the kettle bubbles in the background. 'Banksy is phenomenally effective in the current art scene. He makes a big impact, assuming it's a he', he chortles with half an eye on the impending teapot filling. I am again reduced to ask an inane question about art. 'Wrong question' he says somewhat definitively, 'it's not a question of "is it art", ask the Youtubers, the question is, is it any good?'

A daubed Banksy on Park Street compared to the original

'What I find puzzling is the graffiti. The Banksy at the bottom of Park Street has been daubed and there is £ note symbol scribbled across one of the poster holders for the exhibition.' There is an irony I offer?

An unmarked poster

A marked poster

'Perhaps although it is not the first example of such an act, is it a statement, an act of jealousy, stupidity or a search for fame of a sort'. The tea is looking good as I pour some into his mug although his cakes are looking better as he extracts his favorite eclair onto a side plate. 'Can you create art by destroying art' he muses. I mention KLF to him, 'Burning or destroying the profits of art is one thing, destroying art another,' he pauses glancing down at his plate, 'on the other hand devouring this eclair is an act of mercy.' Even Banksy can't compete with the art of patisserie.