Banksy, ‘Weston Super Mare’


  • Banksy
  • Weston Super Mare
  • 2003
  • Screenprint on paper
  • 45 cm x 101 cm
  • Certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control
  • Numbered edition of 750
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Weston Super Mare first appeared in 2000 on the wall of a restaurant in Bristol. From here it moves onto the city walls and then onto paper. Weston super Mare is a seaside town near Bristol that has 72,000 inhabitants.

Banksy sets the scene here: on the city’s waterfront an elderly man is sitting with his hands crossed on his lap on a bench and accompanied by his cane. A circular saw runs towards him, absolutely unaware of the impending danger.

The style used by Banksy is a combination of the stencil technique typical of Street Art and the soft colors characteristic of vintage English seaside postcards. Weston Super Mare talks about the danger, even death, that surrounds people and that could occur at any moment. The contrast plays on the comfort situation of man and the shadow of impending death. What Banksy argues is the idea that humans are never truly safe, not even comfortably relaxed on a waterfront bench.

This work is a reminder of the behavior of man, who tends not to consider the threats he is surrounded by, and who must always keep his eyes open. Banksy decides to “provoke” the viewer: Weston Super Mare is a question and the answer to his question is personal, as each observer and his or her unique experience differ from other people and their awareness of life.

Weston Super Mare isn’t the only work Banksy dedicates to the Bristol area. In fact, in Weston super Mare we find the theme amusement park, specially created to be disturbing: Banksy himself defined it “a theme park for families not suitable for children”.

The name Dismaland takes the meaning of “dismal” (“bleak”) and the reference to Disneyland, to create a parody of the institution of Disney and its billion-dollar theme parks. The park opened on August 21, 2015 and was only open for a month and is located on the site of an abandoned resort.

With Weston Super Mare and Dismaland screen printing Banksy invites us to reflect on the importance of making the best of every moment, to stop for a second to take a look at what surrounds us.

This edition includes 750 screenprints, 150 of which are signed and 600 unsigned.

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