Bristol

Searching for Banksy in Bristol

15 Feb 2020
Art lovers are in for a real treat when visiting Bristol. This marvellous city is the home of Banksy, Britain’s (and arguably the world’s) most famous street artist, and their work is found all across town. Before becoming a world famous artist, Banksy was another kid in Bristol daubing subversive works onto the walls of his home town. Now, his/her work make for a great way to get to know the city and see some real history in the process. These are some pieces to look out for.
 
Guide to Finding Banksy in Bristol - Well Hung Lover
Guide to Finding Banksy in Bristol - Well Hung Lover © 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com

Well Hung Lover - Frogmore Street

One of the artist’s most famous works, the Well Hung Lover (also known as Naked Man Hanging From Wall) depicts a rather perilous scene, as a naked chap hangs from the window of a distressed couple, the male of which is angrily searching for, well, the naked man. The painting appeared in 2006 on the side of a sexual health clinic, which seems apt.

Rose Trap - Thomas St North

Located just before Thomas St North becomes Fremantle Square is one of the earliest Banksy works, the so-called Rose Trap. The piece is fairly self-explanatory and probably more interesting because of its age, but it shows an early interest in juxtaposing contrasting images together. It is also one of the pieces that the local community has gone to great lengths to protect.
 
Guide to Finding Banksy in Bristol - Mild Mild West (Teddy bear v Police)
Guide to Finding Banksy in Bristol - Mild Mild West (Teddy bear v Police) © 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com

The Mild Mild West - Stokes Croft

Drawn in response to heavy-handed police responses to raves and the like, Banksy actually drew this picture of a teddy bear taking on riot police in broad daylight, over three days in 1999. It is now considered one of the classic pieces of Bristol culture, a real two-fingers up to the establishment mentality that survives today, especially in the Stokes Croft area.

The Girl With The Stick - Bridge Farm Primary School

A difficult one this, as we aren’t about to suggest you all flock to a primary school with your cameras. Bridge Farm Primary School is the location of one of the artist’s newest pieces, one the depicts a primitive drawing of a girl playing with a stick next to a suspiciously lifelike burning tire, complete with a pearl of wisdom from Banksy.
 
Guide to Finding Banksy in Bristol - Girl with a Pierced Eardrum (Homage to Vermeer)
Guide to Finding Banksy in Bristol - Girl with a Pierced Eardrum (Homage to Vermeer) © Electric Egg / Shutterstock.com

The Girl With The Pierced Eardrum - Hanover Place

One of Banksy’s newer Bristol works is the Girl with the Pierced Eardrum, a plaintive piece near the Harbourside. A take on Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring, the earring in this instance is replaced by an alarm - hence the pierced eardrum. That Banksy knows his way around visual comedy.

There are plenty of other Banksy pieces in Bristol - Take the Money and Run, The Grim Reaper, Planning Permissions - but these are just a selection of our favourites. Happy hunting! Now, where did we leave that spray paint….

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