[tweetmeme] Having premiered at Sundance last January, Banksy’s film finally showed across England earlier this month and believe us, the hype surrounding the polemic artist isn’t justified in this film, unless you want to watch the birth & growth of a monster: Mr. Brainwash….
“Exit through the Gift Shop” is neither a documentary or a film, it´s just one of those “cool” attempts (like Mr Moore’s) to portrait & critic all the dirty business behind the so-called “street art”. But ironically enough, Banksy (the most favoured figure in this emerging market or “white commodity” as he calls it himself) simply sits in his darkened chair telling a sadly surrealistic but real story about the introduction to the world of street art of this guy called Thierry Guetta.
The plot is simple: French social climber decides one day to re-orientate his film-it-everything obsession to film & follow street artists around the world. The problem is that he accumulates video tapes like having the Diogenes syndrome. Until one day meeting Banksy, Thierry decides to make two useful things with his life following Banksy´s advice: firstly, create a street-art documentary with all those videos, secondly become a street artist himself. Thierry´s film is so unwatchable that Banksy decides to use all the material for his own purpose while turning the Frenchman into an art monster: Mr. Brainwash (yes, the one behind Madonna Greatest Hit’s album cover).
Mr. Guetta has become quite a figure overnight, he’s passed from 0 to “Street-pop artist Star” in just a matter of 3 years… a mighty “Life is beautiful” 2008 LA show rivalling with Banksy´s 2006 “Barely Legal“…. just another “warehouse extravaganza”. Also earlier this month Brainwash held another show in NY… proving that the huge supermarket-gallery format has become a standard for “artists” like him…. price tags from $8,000 to $250,000 … and the worst is that most of it is sold!
a fake artist? a thirsty & avid liar who ends up being a sought-after brand, or maybe just Banksy’s latest creature?
Fortunately for all of us Exit through the gift shop is slightly more more than just a self-praise to Banksy´s art & “rebel” attitude (there are quite a few “too cool for my pool” scenes praising the Bristolian artist…. this wouldn´t be a Banksy film if not right? this is partly what we came looking for!). Within all that recycled material and none-sense journey we find some insights about other famous artists works & lifes…
…like that of Invader and his space creatures invading all sorts of walls,… Shepard Fairey with Andre the Giant, Ron English´s pop distortions and many others like Zeus, Burf…. etc
Unfortunately Banksy’s own ego & his French alter-ego use too many minutes in this tape….some of them good (like their action @ Disneyland with an inflatable doll, or his idea for giving out £1 million notes with Lady Di’s face instead of Elisabeth’s), most of them very bad (like the whole purpose of transforming Guetta intro Mr. Brainwash).
but hey, all this is just a joke! Banksy is once again ironically laughing at this new lucrative business, Madonna, and all those superstars…. while he keeps selling his expensive stuff like iPods.
Btw, did he see his own Frankenstein coming?