Banksy Gorilla in Fishponds Road, Eastville, Bristol – Painted Over!!!


Banksy Gorilla with Pink Face Mask reappears 20/07/2010

I like the idea that a piece of graffiti can be restored as the ghost of its former self, kind of there and kind of not really, fantastic attempt and perhaps a first of it’s kind. I wondered if it could be varnished over as the first piece of graffiti ever  to be renovated for posterity and cultural wealth. Well done Mr Saeed Ahmed of the New Cultural Centre in Fishponds Road, I salute you with many sincere thanks for giving it a bash, the gesture is much appreciated by me.

Looks a bit sad now! I also wondered if the eyes were actually Banksy’s looking out from under the mask? If you click the photo (larger image) you should be able to take a closer look. Also, if you look through a few Banksy works you don’t come across too many self portraits, I wondered if this is one of them?

7th July 2011

Obviously not a post about Sociorobotics but this BLOG is my only way of letting other people know about this sad incident. I live on Fishponds Road in Bristol where Banksy produced some of his most famous and historical works including the Gorilla with a pink mask (below)

Anyway living here is not the best place in Bristol and it can be grim to say the least but the cultural scene is set. On pretty much a daily basis I walk past this iconic Banksy Gorilla to get to one of my local shops, a familiar landmark which always raised a smile on my face – Thank Banksy for small mercies!

That was of course until today:



And to top it all it was destroyed on the same day as the Wow Gorilla project was launched in Bristol – Time to move out I here you shouting – I hear you!

Banksy: If you get a chance when your down visiting your Mum I wondered if you could do another one for us… Big Thanks in advance!

16 thoughts on “Banksy Gorilla in Fishponds Road, Eastville, Bristol – Painted Over!!!

  1. Caro says:

    (i mean, liking your post, NOT what happened;-)

  2. errr... says:

    Surely part of the allure and potential political effect of graffiti art is its feel of intransigence, the idea that it can and probably will get painted over at some point.
    The fact that Banksy’s work is instantly (hugely) valuable today because of his name and art market value seems a huge contradiction – and preserving the work because of his name (market value) would appear to be supporting the system he’s supposed (?) to be attacking, surely?
    But if the point now is market value, I suggest painting on something that can be more easily bought and housed in galleries, private collections etc. Safer for everyone that way.

    • Nix C says:

      I don’t think this is about market value at all. I think it is about a piece of art that did no harm but brought enjoyment to many and that holds a cultural reference that starts conversation. All good from what I can see!
      I feel I should point out that the frustration at it being painted over (from my side at least) is not about preserving the work just because of his (Banksy’s) name, far from it, it’s about the sad loss of a creative piece that did no harm to anyone.
      I would be careful about applying the shallow [read financial] and seedy side of art – apparently your ‘go to’ take on it – to this conversation, as it is quite obviously not what this blog post was about.
      As for suggesting Banksy should use something more transportable/sellable on which to complete his works – I suggest you step away from the cash register you seem so attached to and read ‘Dummies guide to art’ to understand the real meaning of his style and chosen ‘canvas’!

  3. Sociorobotics says:

    Why does everybody instantly refer to ‘market value’ what about ‘social/cultural value’. It was an image that I liked walking past on a road I don’t really like living on, it made me smile most days for a millisecond… why would anyone begrudge anyone that? It would just have been preferable to have left it alone. I’m not even a big Banksy fan but that image in particular has personal resonance regarding research I have previously completed with Gorillas.

    Art is personal and not what anyone else thinks.

  4. Dominic Cronin says:

    Many years ago, a friend of mine used to do graffiti. A highlight for him as an artist was when he got hold of some gear that would let him use poster paints for spray painting. Whatever he produced would be gone in the next rainstorm, and he didn’t mind. Another chance to paint something new, and of course, the neighbours were also happy.

    So it’s a shame for you that you lost this one, but don’t assume that the artist is similarly bothered. After all, they can do it again. For the fans, maybe it’s harder.

    • Sociorobotics says:

      Thanks for your comment Dominic. I think you may have hit the nail on the head, I’m sure Banksy couldn’t give a toss, however the motives from my perspective are very much for someone to fill the blank canvas and there are plenty of talented Bristol street artists out there… so get it on! This is a tough street to live on and we need some light relief & Banksy’s Gorilla provided that… its called alternative culture!

      • Sociorobotics says:

        And clearly a sentiment recently echoed by Mr Saeed Ahmed – Big thanks for trying!

  5. Pauly P says:

    Gutted when this got painted over but drove passed it last night and glad to see the progress of the comeback. My nearest Banksy piece has always made better viewing on that road than the prozzies, piss’eds and rain. Glad to see 🙂

  6. Caleb Rudoy says:

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  9. Thanks for all your cool comments here!

  10. […] up^ (7 July 2011). “Banksy ‘Gorilla with Pink Face Mask’ painted over”. Sociorobotics. Retrieved 15 July […]

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