I don’t like graffiti – which is bad news when you live in Bristol, UK.
I understand that young men require an outlet for self-expression, but do I need to be confronted by a bleary eyed, multicoloured kangaroo, smoking what looks suspiciously like a marijuana cigarette, every day on my morning commute?
Art or eyesore?
I quite like grey, blank walls – when done right. Brutalist architecture will surely have its time again.
But I concede that there comes a point when graffiti goes beyond lurid and untalented daubing on public spaces and becomes worthwhile: when it’s done with humour, good judgement, and makes a succinct and valuable comment.
Banksy, of course, is at the forefront of worthwhile graffiti, otherwise known as urban art.
And here in Bristol we’re going to be getting to see a lot more of this top of the range stuff.
Nelson Street, a nondescript thoroughfare in the centre of the city, will be transformed in August when the leading graffiti artists of the world display their talents.
Eight buildings will becomes canvases for the See no Evil exhibition, which it is hoped will cement the city as one of the leading centres for urban art.
It’s hoped that the new outdoor expo will promote both culture and tourism in the city – much like in Berlin, Germany. The artfully graffiti’d remains of the Berlin wall, also featuring humour and succinct comment , are nicknamed “the world’s longest art gallery.”
The Berlin Wall: the world’s longest art gallery
“It’s never been done before, and we’re really excited to be able to bring the best Bristol talent alongside internationally renowned artists,” Mike Bennett, the city’s international marketing man, told news website Bristol24-7.
And who knows, the works could be highly prized by collectors in years to come. After all, a London wall containing a Banksy sold for £208,100 in 2008.