Street Artist Banksy Benefits Bristol

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Graffiti artist Banksy may be an international mega star but the Bristolian has been sure not to forget his roots.

As one of Bristol’s most famous sons the street artist has been happy to share his success with the south west city where he began his campaign of satirical graffiti art in the early 1990s.

The elusive artist was inspired by the Bristol underground scene and started his guerilla career as part of Bristol’s DryBreadZ Crew (DBZ) where he began to use stencils as faster method of creating graffiti images.

Banksy helped repay his debt to his home city in 2009 when he held a free exhibition at Bristol Museum which raised more than £45,000 in funds for the institution in donations.

Bristol City Council was charged just £1 to stage the exhibition by Banksy on the condition that all video footage of the artist preparing the show was not revealed to the public and destroyed.

Jan Ormondroyd, chief executive of Bristol city council, told BBC News: “Banksy has done his city a great service. We’ve been able to promote our city far and wide.

“We’ve brought people into the city who will, having seen what we have to offer, be back.”

Several Banksy pieces are located around Bristol with the most famous image being a naked man hanging off a window ledge while a suspicious husband peers out into the distance as his scantily-clad wife stands behind him

The image is found on the wall of a sexual health clinic in Park Street and was allowed to remain by the City Council following popular support by the general public and tourists.

BBC Somerset journalist Rebecca Café wrote: “Banksy put on this show as a thank you to Bristol for supporting his early street art career which meant “putting up with a lot of mistakes that were made in public”.

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Many people queued up for over five years just to view the exhibition which included Banksy prints, originals, installations and sculptures.

Such is Banksy’s popularity in his home city that his name has been put forward for a special ‘Walk of Fame’ cultural exhibition at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Wendy Walton, the zoo’s head of commercial operations, stated: “As a hotbed for music and the arts, Bristol has had its fair share of famous faces, whether they were born, lived or studied their crafts here.

“Names such as Banksy, Massive Attack, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Cary Grant, John Cabot and of course our own Alfred the Gorilla.”

Banksy prints have been exhibited all over the world in locations across America and Europe.

By Martin Hofschroer

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