I recently posted two stories about Exit Through the Gift Shop , a documentary/comedy by Banksy, which claims to be a true story about a star-struck street art fan with a video camera, who becomes transformed into an “artist” himself through the magic of Banksy.
I laid bare my doubts about the integrity of the storyline in the movie: I speculated that it contained a clever mixture of truth and fiction which could not easily be teased out. I also said that, no matter the degree of fiction, the basic message is that art buyers exit through the gift shop — they buy in to a genre or a new thing or provenance and what they don’t do, is look for quality, take inventory, make critical decisions.
But there is one claim I made that I regret: I stated that anyone who continues to wonder about the degree of fiction, is missing the point.
Since then, I have changed my mind. We are looking for all out artistry, aren’t we? Don’t we want to know just how much of Mr. Brainwash‘s huge LA extravaganza, Life is Beautiful, and his subsequent New York show, ICONS, were orchestrated by Banksy? And don’t we want to know how much of the Exit Through the Gift Shop story line is true and just how much ingenuity went into making the rest of the story come to life?
Don’t we want to discover a big clever net of contrivances?