I haven’t talked much about Banksy, let alone the documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop”
that has been out on dvd for a while now, however a new interview with the illusive artist has been posted by AJ Schnack that I wanted to share. If you haven’t seen this documentary yet, I highly suggest that you do. You don’t even need to be a fan of street art; simply being a fan of art and having an interest in the way the art world works is enough. The film is really not about the art of Banksy, well not as much as you think it would be. Instead this film centers around a man named Thierry Guetta, who we are told in the movie is a film nut and goes on a journey to make a documentary on street art, or so he tells the artists. It’s an entertaining film, and does give the viewer some insight into the street art scene, how some of the artists work and how much work it really takes. The film takes a turn when this bumbling character Thierry turns into a street artist as well, now known as Mr. Brainwash.
So the idea, is that due to some advice given to Thierry to make some art, this monster has now been created. One who uses a team of artists to create his work, much in the way Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Anselm Reyle and others work. These artists are the “idea men”, and the art is created by others. So is this Mr Brainwash created by Banksy as a criticism on artists of this status? Or is Mr Brainwash just following in the footsteps of these mega-successful artists? This is a debate that I have seen on forums, blogs, and overheard on subways and bus trips. The Times has even talked about the film being “A Hoax too Far…“. To me, the most interesting facet of the film is the quick rise of Mr Brainwash. Regardless of wether or not this artist is a fabrication of Banksy, the work of Mr Brainwash sells, and fetches some pretty high prices too. AJ Schnack that runs the “All These Wonderful Things” blog has interviewed Banksy and talks about the film. Make sure to check out the full interview, and if you haven’t seen the film, it’s on Netflix to watch instantly.