How controversial street art makes a city more colourful, more diverse, more engaged
Walking down Bristols Park Street or Stokes Croft without being impressed about your surroundings is not really possible. Furthermore Bristols citizens are more than proud about the magnetism of these areas. Apart from having the cutest, creative and most special shops around Bristols central area there is always something else to look out for here. (This time I am not speaking about the dangerous or exhausting hills) - I am speaking about street art.
Having banksy as one of the most famous grafitti artist internationally, Bristol seems to be obsessed with good street art. One of his first pieces (which is as old as I am now - It was made 1997) can be seen on stokes croft and made the area a great attraction for creative people and those who like to critizise the system.
Apparently you could think Banksy is well known here and people want to meet him at exhibitions. BUT you can not, because he is and has ever been anonymous. No one knows who he his, how old he is, what he is doing or where he will be appearing next. Maybe he is just walking along Bristol and just no one notices it.
Whoever he is he inspired the street art world globally. With his dark humour his satirical simple stencil grafitti he criticises the western system. But often his pieces just make one chuckle. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment but puts it in indirect ways. Like in "the mild mild west" on Stokes Croft, Bristol. It shows a teddy bear throwing a molotov-cocktail on three riot police men.
Another popular painting of his in Bristol is the naked man on the bottom of park street on the wall of a sexual health clinic. The naked man tries to hide while hanging on a window where a half naked woman and presumably her husband are looking out. But generally it is up to your own interpretation and this is the great part about street art, especially when it is made by someone who is anonymous. The Bristol city council allowed this piece to stay wehere it is and its nowadays an attraction for a lot of Bristols visitors.
As grafitti in genereal is still considered a crime, Banksy has to fight for the freedom of street art. A lot of his painings have also been removed, like "Pulp Fiction" displaying the two main caractres of the film made by Quentin Tarantino holding bananas instead of guns.
Moreover Banksy did not just leave his own marks here in the City of Bristol, he also inspired the whole underground grafitti scene. A lot of new artists joined him to make the wall more colourful and to spread a message. This makes the city unique and creates an atmosphere of individualism and freedom. So I guess you were successful, Banksy. Whoever you are...Thank you for making this such an inspiring place to live