Last night's premier of the debut film by globally renowned street artist Banksy has the entire community talking about the film's creator, as well as its subject, Mr. Brainwash (amateur videographer Thierry Guetta), who notoriously used his connections with the street art elites to leapfrog over a lifetime of artistic effort to become the world's first ready made street art superstar almost overnight.
The film -- obtusely titled Exit Through The Gift Shop -- poses one big question in my mind: where does the factual account end and the manipulated narrative begin? I go into depth here about my suspicions, but my gut reaction tells me that Banksy is laughing yet again, having dropped a serious credibility bomb on the street art world.
But in an artistic movement where the act of creating the art (in public, usually illegal and often dangerous places) is half the statement, the work can become secondary to the process. This notion legitimizes the whole enchilada for Brainwash, etc... even while its stars (pretend?) begrudge Mr. Brainwash's success.
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