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Arty Farty Friday: Exit Through the Gift Shop

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I think I’ve already mentioned my love for Banksy, the notorious graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

He’s also published a few books which featured photos of his graffiti work as well as a hilarious commentary on art, life and politics.

He also shares anecdotes about how the works were created.

Nothing is known of his identity, however he has become the symbol of street art, his art works are a political and social commentary and have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

He is one prolific artist, and a cheeky bugger to boot!

One of his most daring stunts was to graffiti Israel’s 425-mile-long West Bank barrier, separating Israel from the Palestinian territories.

The images are thought-provoking and I urge you to google them.

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Banksy has made some interesting statements regarding museum, galleries and the art work in general.

Although they are meant to be places for the common folk, the decision about what gets to hang on the walls, therefore what is deemed high art, is made by a chosen few.

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Apart from that, only a percentage of the public actually go to museums, therefore the access to art is limited.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so fond of street art.

It enriches the cities, with walls serving as a platform, a canvas to express ideas to the passers-by and Banksy is the loudest and most recognisable voice among graffiti artists.

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Banksy backed up his statements regarding museums  when he pulled his infamous museum prank.

He would go disguised to places like The Tate or The British Museum and hang up his own work among the exhibits.

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He pulled the same prank in New York museums—the Metropolitan Museum, MoMA, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Brooklyn Museum.

Less said about museum security, the better…

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Some of Banksy’s pieces were removed a few hours later, other lingered for weeks, other still were added to the museum collection as a valuable piece.

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I could go on about how important and revolutionary Banksy’s approach to art is, but this post is really about his 2010 documentary Exit Though The Gift Shop.

The project started out as a bunch of footage of street artists taken by an amateur filmmaker Thierry Guetta who managed to document this elusive and short-lived art form.

What the film ended up being is a head scratching account of how the art world will embrace, and spend a fortune on, anything that is deemed the next best thing.

The documentary is hilarious and you will fall for the array of mad characters.

I can’t help thinking that perhaps this documentary is one of the greatest pranks the elusive Banksy has even played.

You’ll see what I mean when you give it a try 🙂

Even if neither graffiti or art is your thing, this is perhaps one of the most interesting and entertaining documentaries you’ll ever see.

And here’s a funny little thing I made as homage to Mister Brainwash, Magzy really liked it, so this ones for her 😉

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About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

11 responses »

  1. There is a documentary that I know very well. The story of Thierry Guetta starts off so promising. And yet… well, I will not spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet. Banksy is great, I agree, although I slightly resent his whole anonymity gig. It has become his trademark – but it is also a cheap trick, keeping the mystery alive… Art should speak for itself, not by its name or absence of face.

    Reply
    • True, but I must never know his identity, if in fact he is one man. I like the fact that he’s a phantom because I feel like he’s the street art fairy. BTW, if you haven’t read his books I strongly encourage you to. They feature photos f his work, but they are laced with his anecdotes and the man is hilarious and makes very valid points.
      Do you agree that throughout the documentary we’re being played?

      Reply
  2. I must try to see this – I love Banksy. Unfortunately the video doesn’t want to work. Love the RA homage! 😉

    Reply
    • Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t realise the old clip had been remved as I created and scheduled this post a few weeks ago.I’ve now updated the link to one that works. This clip has subtitles, but it’s really worth the watch 🙂

      Reply
  3. I like what Banksy’s said about art a lot. Neutral on the art itself — some of it I love, but more as statements than as art. I’ve had this film on my list for a long time, too.

    Reply
    • He certainly makes a statement! I think you’ll enjoy watching it but your BS meter will go off within 30 minutes 😉 I’m more naïve and prone to looking at things in a superficial manner, so that suspicious part of me is drowned out by my enthusiastic side that wants it all to be true 😉

      Reply
  4. Some of this reminds me of my favorite artist, Magritte!! Interesting.

    Reply
    • The wonderful thing about postmodern art like pop art is that it shamelessly draws from sources and exploits them, like Lichtenstein who took all his images from comic books, transferred them on canvas and made a killing.
      What’s interesting is that we live in a copyright obsessed world so if you reuse an image, even if it’s for the sake of art, you can still get sued for copyright infringement.

      Reply
  5. Dzieki Agzym 🙂 Fajnie sie ludzie bawią przy okazji umilajac innym życie. Przezabawny film 🙂

    Reply
    • Ostatnio zauważyłam taga na Grochowie na jakiejś skrzynce, więc widać Polak też potrafi. Na Pradze Północ kilka lat temu pouwieszano zdjęcia pokazują Warszawiaków w pozach ze znanych obrazów. Niestety ta fajna incjatywa została zagłuszona informacją że Polonia to k*rwa, policja też 😉
      Czyli kibice Legii też są street artystami, tyle tylko że troche inaczej…

      Reply
  6. Wonderful article about a great artistic figure! 🙂

    Reply

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