Banksy – Exit Through The Gift Shop

This past weekend I had the opportunity to screen Banksy’s film “Exit Through the Gift Shop” at the Mayan Theatre in Denver. I’d recommend seeing the film with little foreknowledge but if you must, continue on for minimal spoiling.

Banksy - Exit Through the Gift Shop - 2010
Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop, still from video, 2010.

French born filmmaker Thierry Guetta (AKA Mr. Brainwash) set off on a quest to document the recently enlivened “Street Art” scene. He tirelessly followed some of the most celebrated artists of the genre as they applied their wares to public places. His footage piled up but Guetta had little success in his efforts to make sense of the work in the editing room. Banksy took over the project and the final cut became “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

Banksy - Exit Through the Gift Shop - 2010
Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop, still from video, 2010.

The premiere of the film received excellent response at the Sundance Film Festival. While the London debut took place in a disused tunnel under Waterloo Station complete with lush seating. A typically brilliant move for the master marketer.

Banksy - Exit Through the Gift Shop - 2010
Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop, still from video, 2010.

Mr. Brainwash and Banksy inspire passion in both directions. Discussion forums and blog comment areas quickly fill up with hatred and defense. During the New York premiere, the online tabloid Art Fag City went into a sputtering rage over unfounded reports of ethical impropriety concerning the marketing efforts for the film. The infantile attacks were corrected and eventually a ludicrous retraction was posted.

Heavy handed reaction from those slow to adopt change can be expected. This sort of response has been seen over and over throughout the history of art. The savvy collector should raise an eyebrow because this is the same sort of nonsense that Andy Warhol was forced to endure during his lifetime.

If you miss this film, you have truly been left behind. Watch the trailer (complete with a song that I can’t get out of my head) below.

Banksy
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Now playing in the U.S. and Canada.



Filed under:   Magazine


About Scott Lickstein, Look Into My Owl

Scott Lickstein is a visual artist and was the founder / primary writer for the art news source, LookIntoMyOwl.com until January 2013 when it merged with NOWhere Limited’s Magazine.


One Response to Banksy – Exit Through The Gift Shop

  1. Magnus says:

    can’t wait to see this movie. looks great. art fag city is lame all day. nothing a prescription wouldn’t cure.

Comments are closed.



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