Tag Archives: street art

Exit through the gift shop

7 Dec

Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum was selected for the screening of the new film from popular and mysterious street artist Banksy. ‘Exit through the gift shop’ is part of the large street art exhibition the Herbert is currently showing to the public.

This strange but equally compelling film, documents the rise of street artist ‘Mr Brainwash’ from his beginning as Thierry Guetta, the Frenchman.  Whose obsession with filming everything and with street art leads him to meet and film famous and illusive street artists, such as Invader, Shepard Fairey and Banksy. We see how with the help of Banksy and other street artists, Guetta moves forward to become a street artist himself and take the art world by storm and cause massive controversy with his exhibition, much to the surprise of the street art community.

Street art, technically classed as graffiti and an illegal offense often carries political messages and challenges authority through art with iconic images such as the print of ‘obey’ by Shepard Fairey. What started as backstreet graffiti now has a following of thousands of fans, with some street artists selling work for thousands.

“The film was hilarious” Michaela Yates a Banksy fan commented “I’ve always loved Banksy and have some of his prints at home so I was excited about this film. It wasn’t what I expected with the focus being on Mr Brainwash but I thought it was great, the footage of how street artists produce their creations showed me a whole new side of street art, and it was amazing.”

Mark Jameson a street art enthusiast also found ‘Exit through the gift shop’ to differ from expectations and felt a strong reaction towards Mr Brainwash. “It was a fantastic film, and great to really get inside street art, the interviews with Banksy and Shepard Fairey gave some real insight into the process they go through as artists and also show some of the thoughts behind some of their more well-known works. The focus on development on the street artist Mr Brainwash was interesting but I was hoping to see more of Banksy, Mr Brainwash’s work seems a bit unoriginal to me and just a different copy of what other street artists have already come up with, and not worth the hype.”

‘Exit through the gift shop’ gives a never before insight into the world of street art and challenges the audience to decide whether ‘Mr Brainwash is the latest in a long line of brilliant street artists, or just another copy cat.

(NOTE: This interview and article was competed and published a long time ago and is being included as part of my online journalism portfolio)

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