Review: Banksy Versus The Bristol Museum

Banksy Sign

Everybody’s talking about Banksy‘s new exhibition, Banksy Versus The Bristol Museum, which runs from today until August 31st. I went for the preview last night, and so I thought I’d write a little run-through of the show.

The first thing you see when you walk into the museum is indeed that recreation of Banksy’s Glastonbury Stonehenge, photos of which leaked on Thursday. For me, it was Banksy’s attempt at mocking cliched museum exhibits. At least, that’s what I hope it is meant to be.

Banksy Main Hall

The next room is the main hall (or whatever you want to call it) of the museum. As you can see, the centerpiece of this room is a burted out ice cream van with a melted ice cream cone. A bit like the burnt out ice cream van at Cans Festival. Along the sides of the room, where you might expect to see statues of Bristol’s most historic figures, there are sculptures of a woman carrying shopping bags and a Buddha wearing a cast (recreating this stencil). At first glance, some of them, particularly the Buddha and the David (as a suicide bomber) fit in perfectly with the museums regular exhibits. Upon closer inspection of course, the works are classic Banksy. Although I doubt Banksy actually had much to do with making this statues beyond coming up with the idea, they are some of my favorite pieces in the show.

Banksy Sculpture

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Banksy versus the Bristol Museum

By Banksy and Damien Hirst. Photo by Sabeth718
By Banksy and Damien Hirst. Photo by Sabeth718

Yes that’s right. Banksy has invaded The Bristol City Museum for the next 3 months for his “Summer Show.” It is a flat out great show. Full review coming tomorrow, but this piece was one of my favorites. It’s a real Damien Hirst that Banksy has VASTLY improved. Some great photos in Sabeth718’s photo set.