Sunday, May 16, 2010


"Art used to embody something meaningful enough to be relevant beyond the time in which it was made, but collectors today are attracted to art that 'holds a mirror to our times' and are too impatient to hang on to the work long enough to see if it contains any 'timeless' rewards. Experts say that the art that sells most easily at auction has a 'kind of immediate appeal' or 'wow factor.'
-Sarah Thornton(Seven Days In The Art World)

The most mysterious and well-known artist of our times, Banksy, has directed a splendid documentary or mocumentary, of which I'll place my bets on the latter.

Exit Through The Gift Shop begins as a documentary about street artists that has been filmed throughout the years by enthusiast Thierry Guetta. Guetta eventually becomes so involved that he decides to become a sort of amateur street artist himself. It all goes to his head and he decides to show his work to the public, but first he convinces his street art pals to hype the show which they "grudgingly" agree to. Thus the fix(or buzz) is in. Suddenly, Guetta's work is on the cover of LA Weekly and his art is selling for millions. A prank has been pulled on the unsuspecting art collectors, dealers, hipsters, and whatnot.

As this unfolds, Banksy and others are degrading this guy as a terrible artist and Guetta plays the part perfectly of the buffoon whose "genius" has all gone to his head. Many in the crowd at the movie theater(especially the obnoxious idiots next to me) are appalled at Guetta's work. Banksy has thus pulled off his second prank, albeit a subtle one, and proves that he is far more than just hype - Banksy is truly one of the most relevant artists of our time. Excellent movie!

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