The Girl With the Pierced Eardrum and The Man With The Flag.



Bu Fiona Louise

Thanks to Banksy,  Bristol is fast becoming the Tattooed Lady of Britain.

This is not necessarily a criticism.

Banksy, street artist du jour, has today revealed his latest  work  on a Bristol wall , this time a copy of Vermeer’s  Girl With a Pearl Earring , painted on a building in Hanover Place in the city’s Harbourside.

With the witty  title of Girl With a Pierced Eardrum, the piece incorporates  the on-wall alarm box as the model’s earring.

It’s a pretty good likeness of the Vermeer classic , although the  cheeks of Banksy’s muse are chubbier than the original, but perhaps that’s a nod to the  modern day girl who is slightly thicker  than those downtown Delft chicks of 1665.


Girl with a pearl earing


While it is good to see  Banksy acknowledging the great  Masters at last , what was more surprising on the news wires today  was the word was that ‘Banksy’  had been arrested,or should I say -someone hoping to be Banksy was arrested.

But here’s the thing……. before we knew it was a hoax and we thought that the real Banksy had indeed been incarcerated, my heart sank , just a little bit.

Now, the heart sink didn’t occur over the alleged arrested ….not at all . I think Banksy,  frankly,  could do with a bit of that gear. No , my heart sank at the sight of WHO had been arrested…a small  male human covered in the St George Flag

There is no doubt the gent underneath would be pasty-faced. Now, I’m not against being pasty-faced per se, being pretty pasty myself , the point is ,even shrouded in drapery, he was  not exactly the Banksy  I’d imagined.

The realisation  that finally Banksy was unmasked , that finally we get to see one of the great social commentators of our age, and he was…..well….pretty ordinary.

You see,  in my mind Banksy is the full super hero.  In my mind   Banksy is both a physical and  mental giant as well  as an artistic genius (high standards ,much?).

He’s the kind of guy that saves kittens  stuck in trees, gently laughs and ruffles kids hair when he gets hit in the face by their football, endures the smudged lipsticked , floral perfumed, false teeth shaking kisses of old ladies  after  he’s helped them home with their shopping.

He’s the guy that  make s dinner  for you AND the neighbours and lovingly tucks the children into bed  after reading them a story , giving them an impromptu French lesson and finishing with an African folk song he learned while living with the eastern lowland gorillas in the Congo .

Then, and only then, would he creep out into the darkness of our streets and towns, to slather  his  biting social commentary on our public facades and in doing so make the world a better place…….yep, that’s my Banksy.

So Banksy, please don’t  let some other guy ever nearly get arrested pretending to be you,ever again.

And don’t really get arrested,either. Ever.

I for one, never want to see  your face, or find out that you are in  fact a thirty-five year old square dancer called Paul from Bognor Regis who doesn’t change his sheets and is scared of spiders.

I like my super heroes faceless and imaginary, thanks all the same.

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