Is Bristol graffiti art or crime?

Bristol is unofficially the graffiti capital city of the UK. Is this something that the city should be proud of, or is this tag something that the residents of Bristol should be ashamed? Graffiti, or street art, is a subject that divides opinion. Many residents in Bristol feel that graffiti is a crime, vanadalism and nothing more than an eyesore, that spoils views, houses and apartments in Bristol. Street artisits would argue that graffiti in Bristol is a beautiful, thought provoking form of free art that visitors to Bristol should enjoy during their stay in Bristol. They would argue that their graffiti makes a visit to Bristol more enjoyable for the tourist, with the vibrant colours that emanate from their spray cans adding life and soul to the Bristol city centre streets, complimenting the new apartment developments in Bristol city centre as well as the more traditional architecture of Bristol.
Bristol has always had an underground artistic culture that has encouraged artistic expression and this has translated itself to many walls across the city.
There is a world of difference from an individual artists tag to a life size master piece created from hours and hours of artistic craft. However, graffiti is still a subject that divides opinion. Perhaps it is more acceptable to the short stay visitor to Bristol. Afterall, if you are staying in a serviced apartment in Bristol, perhaps visiting the city for just a few days, then you can really appreciate the stunning artistic creations without having to live with them. That is the arguments of residents in Bristol who feel that visitors to Britol don’t understand that they have to see the graffiti day after day. Tourists in Bristol just come and go.
The above argument starts to get more complicated when it becomes clear that graffiti is actually bringing money into the Bristol economy. It might not be to your taste, but commercially, graffiti is a growing revenue stream for Bristol. People are booking serviced apartments in Bristol to come and see what is becoming famous graffiti. Really?
One word that underpins this argument is “Banksy”. Banksy is the most famous street artist in the world (perhaps with Blec le rat) and comes from Bristol (although nobody is ever really sure who he is). His work, which started on the streets of Bristol is now deemed to be collectable and many famous stars buy Banksy creations for Hundreds of thousands of Pounds. Recently Banksy staged an official exhibition at Bristol city museum. His work is thought provoking and innovative. More than 250,000 people viewed the free exhibition in Clifton, Bristol with many people visiting Bristol from the USA just to view the exhibition.
So, maybe graffiti does have a place in the mainstream of the art world. The residents of Bristol need to make a decision. Is the increased revenue from visitors spending their money in Bristol (they book apartments in Bristol, eat in Bristol restaurants, take taxis in Bristol, stay in hotels in Bristol, fly into Bristol airport – all cash generators for the city economy) worth the growing level of “vandalism”. Take the graffiti away and they might just lose their next Banksy, the next big thing, that would increase the visitors to Bristol – culture vulture who want to visit Bristol “Graffiti capital of the world”. Maybe that is something to be proud of.
If you are interested in staying in a serviced apartment in Bristol, than call Serviced City Pads, a leading booking agent for apartments in Bristol and other locations across the UK. Once you have arranged your stay in Bristol, you can walk the streets of Clifton in search of previous Banksy (and many other street artists) creations. To check out our apartments listed in Bristol please go to or call the apartments reservation team on 0844 335 8866.