Saturday, 13 August 2011

Exit Through The Gift Shop: Street Art.

Watching Exit Through The Gift Shop has really opened my eyes to the new craze that is known as street art. Prior to watching I had heard a little bit about Banksy and seen some of his work, but this has really made me more aware of the actual talent that is involved in the art form.

A lot of hard work and risky dedication goes into making this graffiti so wonderful. As well as Banksy, there are many artists out there who have made a name for themselves stamping their trademarks all around the world.

Space Invader uses old pieces of Rubik Cubes to create images form the classic arcade game. His pieces can be found on buildings, walls and bridges everywhere.

Shepard Fairey's 'Obey Giant' campaign has become a national phenomena, intended to raise curiosity and make people question the relationship they have with their surroundings. His trademark piece has taken the basic outline of Andre the Giant and simplified it down to give it the menacing, intriguing attire that Fairey has become known for.

The work of MBW or Mr Brain Wash - the man that Exit Through The Gift Shop centres around. Thierry Guetta is a man obsessed with filming everything. He has no purpose or reason for this, he simply does so because he likes to capture the moment. Cousin to Space Invader, he soon becomes fascinated with his art and the work he does throughout the city. Thrown into the world of street art, Thierry is obsessed with the workings and technicalities that take place in order to ensure the piece is displayed in it's fullest form in various places throughout the city. After capturing several renown artists, Thierry becomes obsessed in his mission to track down Banksy and capture the makings of his work. Call it luck, fate or coincidence, but the two just so happened to be magically thrown together.

Banksy encourages Thierry to showcase some of his own works (above) in a gallery show, which proves to be an instant success, making MBW the new must have piece for any contemporary art collector.

Exit Through The Gift Shop is a very fascinating documentary. The footage that Thierry has collected makes for excellent viewing. It is really special being able to witness the making of some of these contemporary artist's greatest works. Although the form of art is obviously sketchy in terms of legality, the documentary really helped to highlight the dangers the artists are faced with and the serious risks should they get caught. Even though Banksy helped make the documentary and featured in it...he was very cautious at concealing his identity, facially and vocally.

Through the means of one man and his camera, we really are able to see a charming insight into the intrinsic and amazing world of street art. There can be no qualms as to why this saw a nomination at the Oscars, however I do believe that it's more of a one trick pony. It is a documentary that I found insightful and enjoyed to some degree, but one that I am not likely to view again in the near future. It by no means is my favourite of the year. I would regard Catfish much higher, but perhaps that's because the medium behind that are more accomplished in film making and so were able to produce a more elegant, well rounded piece.

My eyes now on will be peeled for the works of street artists. I hope to see a Banksy in real life one day. A very unusual talent that is heavily under appreciated by the masses. I give the documentary overall a 6/10.

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