Banksy’s back at it for Valentine’s Day. A Banksy-esque mural popped up in the artist’s hometown of Bristol yesterday and before it was even confirmed to be authentic, it was getting the Banksy treatment. Then, just before midnight last night, the artist took to Instagram to confirm the work to be theirs.
The Bristol house at the corner of Marsh Lane and Avonvale Road was an ordinary house just two days ago. At the start of the week, the side of the house facing Marsh Lane was bare, with nothing to distinguish it from any other house in the area. That changed yesterday when a girl in black in white having catapulted an exploding bouquet of flowers into the air with a slingshot, red flowers dripping onto the road sign, popped up. Almost immediately, people began showing up to see what’s been dubbed the Valentine’s Day Banksy, even before the artist took ownership of it.
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‘It arrived on our wall overnight. I got tagged into Facebook with someone saying, is this your property?,’ said Kelly Woodruff, who co-owns the property, which is split into three flats, to The Guardian yesterday. ‘And we were like “whoa it is.” We are super excited, obviously, and it’s my dad’s birthday today so we are very excited to have such a brilliant birthday gift. We are Bristol born and bred, and it’s just so exciting.’
People lined up to take photos of and with the mural while Woodruff and her father took precautions having the mural covered with a sheet of Perspex. Now that the artist has taken credit for the artwork, it’s bound to get even more attention. Just over a year ago, when a Banksy was discovered on the garage of a Port Talbot man, more than 20,000 people turned out to see it in just a few weeks. Ian Lewis, who owned the garage, and subsequently the Banksy, eventually sold the mural to John Brandler, an Essex collector of works by the elusive artist, because of the stress of suddenly owning a work by the artist.
Today in Barton Hill, we woke up with this remarkable mural art painted on one of the houses of the area.
We hope it’s Banksy’s work.
— Bristol Somali Community Association (@BSCAssociation) February 13, 2020
The artwork is in Barton Hill, a community within Bristol and it seems many of its residents are excited to welcome the Banksy. Khadra Ismail, who has lived in Barton Hill for 14 years, told the BBC, ‘it’s a great, vibrant community but it’s often overlooked. I think this art means this area is beautiful and needs care and attention.’ The attention the work is already receiving is something that Afzal Shah, a local councilor, sees as a benefit to the area, saying that the Banksy could ‘be great for the area.’
The newest work claimed by the artist joins a number of other Banksy artworks in the port city. The artist was born there in the 1970s and got their start in the city when street art was on the rise in 1980s. Since, Banksy has gone on to be one of the world’s most mysterious, yet well-known artists making Bristol a must-see for any and all Banksy enthusiasts.