Banksy’s new piece in Bristol is conveniently round the back of the Spike Island Studios on the Studio Upstairs building. Today – Sunday – the dockside is more than usually thick with visitors. All right, the steam train and the Mayflower tug are running and there’s lots for the kids to do but a steady procession are walking round the back of the SS Great Britain in search of The Girl With the Pierced Eardrum. The people who run the greasy spoon by the boatyard must be delighted.
By painting on the Studio Upstairs building Banksy is again drawing attention to a local community group, directly or indirectly. Studio Upstairs won’t be able to impound this one and sell it of course.
I am curious about the vandalism – the paint thrown at the work soon after it was unveiled last weekend. It is very artfully thrown, seeming to manage to avoid defacing the image and do so in a tastefully chosen colour that is only marginally different from the original. I can’t help wondering if it is not a put up job and that the damage makes the whole thing more newsworthy. Would the Nationals bother to announce a new painting in Bristol? I doubt it, but another attack on Banksy’s work on the other hand is news.