Guerrilla graffiti artist Banksy has used deflated tyres to epitomise the state of the nation!
In his exhibition at the City Museum and Art Gallery, in the anonymous artist’s hometown of Bristol, the reception area is transformed by a burnt-out ice cream van that has undergone nightmarish vandalism, with a pathetic, sorry-sounding jingle and deflated tyres.
The supersize cone on its roof has been upended, its panels liberally splattered with graffiti, and it sits in an urban wasteland of battered oil drums and discarded tyres.
This, of course, is Banksy’s way of jokingly depicting his view of a society gone to pot and his vision of the future.
But the entire tongue-in-cheek exhibition is proving a big hit with locals and museum visitors. Areas that normally house fine art and sculpture have been hijacked and filled with a motley crew of props from Banksy’s weird, warped and despairingly comic world.
So shrouded in secrecy was Banksy’s largest project to date that most of the museum’s staff were unaware of it until it opened to the public last Friday.
After a lifetime of daubing the streets with his humorous, outrageous artwork, or sneaking works into the world’s major museums to pin up alongside masterpieces (as was the case in the Louvre in Paris when he attached a smiling Banksy Mona Lisa to a wall near Da Vinci’s original), he had now brought his work indoors, to the heart of the artistic establishment.
His outdoor work has created immense controversy in Bristol at times, with council officials whitewashing some of Banksy’s original creations from the city’s walls amid public protests.
In a statement, Banksy said: “This is the first show I’ve ever done where taxpayers’ money is being used to hang my pictures up rather than scrape them off”.
This is Banksy’s first “museum” exhibition, although his artworks have sold at auctions to collectors including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Denna Bowman, Head Office