For Your Consideration

BanksyLA
Mean Authority Figure, Tots, and lame crayon flowers

Banksy is in LA marking up surfaces with his signature lil’ rascals, menacing authorities, misplaced mutts, and drunk and disorderly mice. Many have speculated on Banksy’s mousetrap motives for visiting Hollywood — that he may be creating a Banksy egg-hunt in order to draw academy attention to his film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

Brash publicity tricks can only remind the academy, the press, and the chattersphere that the entire premise of the movie is mysterious and suspect, that the artist is a prankster who may will have created Exit Through the Gift Shop in order to establish an alter ego, Mr. Brainwash, for his blatant commercial endeavors.

The very first docuhoax ever to be nominated for an Oscar may well win just because the entire world is suspending disbelief.

Banksy Banks on Mystery (and fails?)

Noir

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?

Read on: the mystery unravels

REVIEW: Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop

“Is this the line for the mooovie?” I heard a mystified woman ask as she applied herself to the back end of a line that had advanced from the basement to the top of the stairs.

The line at Sunshine Theater
Snaking Through the entire downstairs, the Banksy crowd

We were at the Sunshine theater to see Banksy’s Exit Throught the Gift Shop, a documentary, by label, about street art and an unlikely new star, Mr. Brainwash.

Something like this could have been expected in the UK, where folks care about art and are intimately familiar with Banksy’s beginnings as street vandal in Bristol. But here? Even in New York’s lower east side, we hadn’t expected to see a crowd like this.

It turns out the movie was worth our wait. I think it was even GEEENYUS, or something like that.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop”

OPINION | Mr. Brainwash: Ce n’est pas un Banksy

There’s a sucker born every minute.
~ P.T. Barnum

MrBrainwash
Mr. Brainwash always has paint on his hand.

Banksy’s latest assault is Exit Through the Gift Shop, a mockumentary or fauxdoc, perhaps, that alleges to be about one Mr. Brainwash, aka Thierry Guetta, madman filmmaker and god-awful artist.

Guetta, is, apparently a nutter who attached himself to the famous street artist, following him (and other notable street artists) around for ten years or so and obtaining enough undesirable footage to force Banksy pay some attention. When he did, the story goes, he turned the camera on Guetta himself  and told him to go make his own art.

Continue reading “OPINION | Mr. Brainwash: Ce n’est pas un Banksy”

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