Street Art Or Graffiti, Is It Vandalism Or Therapy?

Banksy is compulsory for anyone living in or visiting Bristol. For my own sake, his art hit me right in my belly (maybe a Norwegian expression, but you get what I mean). In other words; Whacked me in the gut! Walking around Bristol activates a real explosion of artistic feeling and emotion. It all bubbles up and comes to the surface – as art. And of course it’s political, and Banksy has it all in my opinion.

I didn’t really know Banksy before I came to Bristol. Of course I recognised his work, but it was mind blowing and impressive to walk around the streets and see it everywhere! From searching a bit on the net I figured that he (I think it’s a man) had visited Bergen and even left a street art behind. But Bergen kommune (council) had got it removed. What a shame, twenty or so years later and millions and billions of fans, fame and fortune.

This one is by graffiti artist #Inkie! Also known as one of Banksy’s early collaborators.

A30E07E9-067C-4715-8662-416E067D8DEDI have decided, I’m gonna search for Banky’s last work and learn about the graffiti scene of Bristol… and my starting point was just here in St Michael’s Hill, an area (Cotham) rumours say he might have grown up even. So, is street art and graffiti just annoyingly vandalism or is it maybe therapy for the fallen. This is quoted from two graffiti paintings either side of the street where I was standing just now. (None of which are supposed to be Banksy art by the way, the street art scene in Bristol is huge.) I seem to think it is a reaction to something and that it should be taken seriously. It is serious! Even here in Bristol with lots of street art, graffiti or whatever you choose to call it, it stands out from the let’s call it «exterior of the city». It screams! It’s in your face. And it is painful, beautiful and strongly speaking to you – that’s what makes it a bit painful as well, more to come….

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I went into this pub just below the ‘vandalism’ graffiti and the lady in the bar could tell me that she did’t know who had done it and..: »Sorry, it’s not a Banksy, I’m afraid». And now, in May 2018, couple of months after I wrote this piece: I’m pretty sure the artist is Nick Walker.

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