By my calculations, exactly two good things have ever been sold at Urban Outfitters, and neither are made by Altamont. The first is Penguin’s collected deluxe tales of Hans Christian Andersen, with cover art by Anders Nilsen. The second is this anime-themed pillow that doubles as a shower curtain and triples as a plug-and-play Arcanoid machine for your black leggings. No! Actually! It’s that Banksy book everyone either owns or has given as a gift.
Today, my first day of life as a thirty-one year old man, I stood in line (I queued) for three hours to see the Banksy exhibit at the Bristol City Museum and Gallery…
For the first hour and a half I had to umbrella so my copy of Eula Biss didn’t get droppywet. And the whole time there were two squawking teenage devilgirls behind me with neither any sense of personal space nor responsible parents to say, Stop bumping that nice American man. And a big part of the show was stuff I’d seen in New York last year when he set up that amazing little pet shop in the Village. And still, and still, the experience was completely worth it, a kind of scavenger hunt to find his work among the museum’s normal collection (all credited to Local Artist), like the dildo he set among the stalactite display, or the suitcase of money nestled between the cases of royal / ducal (or something) jewels. More than 230,000 people have visited thus far, and I bet all but eight of them were smiling and pointing. Also of note? He charged one single stinking pound to do the exhibition, which is less than what I paid for my Cadbury Flake cone while waiting in line, which I did not NOT mean to drop on the screeching girl’s fluorescent Vans. These things happen. It’s a cold world.
Below is a semi-professional video I made from photos I took at the exhibition. Over 65,000 views! (I did not make make this video.)