Banksy: The Bristol Legacy - Paul Gough
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In the summer of 2009 Bristol saw a remarkable phenomenon that made international news. An estimated 300,000 people queued for hours, often in pouring rain, for admission to the city’s museum & art gallery. They had been attracted by the media hype surrounding an exhibition ambiguously entitled ‘Banksy vs the Bristol Museum’. There have been many celebratory books about Banksy, but this is the first non-partisan documentation of the Bristol event and an attempt to assess its local and wider impact.
The book raises a raft of questions; is Banksy a subversive influence or merely a bit of fun? Why is Banksy so important to Bristol? Is he really important? Where does the exhibition leave Bristol as an epicentre of ‘street art?' It looks at the setting up of the show and questions the need, other than to conform to the required Banksy mystique, for secrecy. The authors also look at the economic impact of the show, the media’s role in creating its notoriety, and the question so often avoided by the critics – how does Banksy rate as an artist in his own right? Are we dealing with art, ‘street art’ or graffiti? The contributors are drawn from the academic and art worlds, business and media, with a range of ‘vox pop’ reactions.
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