Banksy in Bristol
A new artwork spotted in Bristol has been confirmed as the work of world-famous street artist Banksy after the artist posted images of it on his Instagram account and website. The piece features a girl firing red flowers into the air with a slingshot and has been dubbed “the Valentine’s Banksy” since it seems to have been completed in the early hours of the 14th of February.
Although the artist is careful to ensure his identity remains elusive, Banksy was born in Bristol in 1974 and first got involved in street art as part of the city’s DryBeadZ Crew in the 1990s. Over the years the artist has created numerous works in his native city as well as pieces all over the world. With a reputation for showcasing controversial issues and forgotten causes, Banksy has stayed true to his early intentions of never selling or reproducing his street art and predominantly creates his works in public places where they can be enjoyed by everyone.
Provocative Banksy works include an image of a girl being pulled into the air by balloons on Israel’s divisive security wall in Ramallah in the West Bank and “Kissing Coppers” featuring two passionately-entwined policemen which was painted on the wall of a Brighton pub in 2004 and later removed after repeated vandalism attacks.
The new Valentine’s Day mural has generated considerable excitement from the art world since Banksy has unusually chosen to use 3D flowers in his design both on the wall and on the street sign in front of the mural. This marks a departure from the artist’s regular practice of creating 2D spray-painted and stencilled murals.
The artwork is located on Marsh Lane in the Barton Hill neighbourhood of Bristol which has special significance for Banksy since nearby is the youth club visited by the artist during his younger years.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s premier graffiti artists, Banksy’s work has been credited with helping street art to go mainstream. Part of the artist’s appeal is his secretive approach. Rather than announcing when and where he will strike next, Banksy allows his works to be discovered organically by members of the public.
This mode of working combined with his striking and controversial imagery has brought Banksy enormous media attention, making his work highly sought-after and offering excellent investment potential. The artist made headlines at the end of last year when his canvas entitled “Devolved Parliament” which critiques the contemporary state of politics sold for an astounding £9.88 million. This is the highest price paid for a Banksy work to date, and far exceeded the £1.5 – £2 million estimate.