The Meaning Behind “David” at Banksy vs Bristol Museum – Explained

Banksy’s “David” was displayed at “Banksy versus Bristol Museum”. The exhibition ran for 11 weeks over a decade ago, from June 13th to August 31st 2009, and featured more than 100 works of art that explored the themes of rebellion, politics, and social justice.

David and Goliath… and Michelangelo

“David” by Banksy is based on the biblical story of “David and Goliath”, where David defeats the more powerful Goliath with a sling and a stone to the head. Banksy’s “David” sculpture is a modern interpretation of Michelangelo’s masterpiece of Italian Renaissance sculpture, which was created between 1501 and 1504 and uniquely depicts David before his battle with Goliath.

The biblical figure of David was a popular subject in the art of Florence and was often depicted as a symbol of the city-state’s defence of civil liberties. In the early 16th century, the Republic of Florence was an independent city-state threatened on all sides by more powerful rival states and by the political aspirations of the Medici family. 

Michelangelo’s David symbolises bravery and strength and embodies the ideal of civic virtue, which was highly valued in the Renaissance period. The statue represented the idea that citizens could rise to the occasion and defend their city-state against any threat, no matter how powerful. 

Banksy’s Twist

Banksy’s “David” sculpture takes this historical context and adds a contemporary twist. By adding a bandana and an explosive bomb belt to the sculpture, Banksy creates a powerful commentary on the current state of political affairs and the need to stand up against oppression. 

Walled Off Hotel

A similar statue, The Bust of David, is displayed in the ‘Piano Bar’ at the ‘Walled Off Hotel’ in Bethlehem near the separation wall that divides Palestine and Israel. The Banksy Hotel is famous for its thought-provoking art installations.

Commemorative Posters

During “Banksy versus Bristol Museum”, four original posters were released to commemorate the Banksy vs Bristol Museum exhibition. The collection includes four official Banksy posters, each with its own unique design and message.

Purchase –Banksy vs Bristol Museum 2009 David Poster

The posters are named after the featured artworks, including the Banksy vs Bristol Museum 2009 Hanging Klansman PosterBanksy vs Bristol Museum 2009 Dorothy PosterBanksy vs Bristol Museum 2009 David Poster, and Banksy vs Bristol Museum 2009 Riot Copper Poster.

These posters are a powerful reminder of the exhibition’s impact and the artist’s ability to captivate his audience with his bold and thought-provoking works.

Banksy versus Bristol Museum 2009

The exhibition was a groundbreaking and thought-provoking experience that challenged traditional art and museum curation notions. Banksy’s unique perspective and artistic vision left a lasting impression on all lucky enough to witness a truly unforgettable exhibition.

For those who missed out, the trailer for Banksy versus Bristol Museum offers an intriguing glimpse into the exhibition’s captivating world.

Visit our online store here to discover an extensive collection of Banksy’s thought-provoking artworks. Our selection includes iconic pieces reflecting society, politics, and culture, each with its unique message and style. If you’re searching for a particular artwork that’s been difficult to find, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts. We’re here to help you acquire and add that elusive piece to your collection.



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