Sunday, February 27, 2011

What is Art?

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
Dir - Banksy 

I did really enjoy this film, I really did. Since last night I've been having a fun time mulling over everything I saw and coming to my own conclusions on the reality. But... 

I think I hurt my overall appreciation of the film because I waited so long to watch. Too many little things were spilled and they hype was great. Overhype really sucks. I do love watching trailers but sometimes I really would rather go into most every movie completely blind. 

A few more things about the film but there will be SPOILERS BELOW!

Dictating what people perceive as art is not my job. It's pretty subjective. I find beauty and am moved by stuff others would call trash. Not to mention I have no extensive training/knowledge in the fine art world. Street art is, sometimes, very beautiful and/or powerful. Most everything I've seen of Banksy's is fantastic. But the work that Thierry, aka Mr. Brainwash, does just kind of pisses me off. It's a big rip-off of Warhol in my opinion, but that's not even the worst part about it. How the hell can he call it "his art" if he doesn't make any of it? Sure, he comes up with some of the overall design idea but he doesn't make the end product, one of his hired artists does. They are the ones who should be recognized for the hard part, not Thierry! Anyone can have great ideas for drawings, paintings, sculptures and more, but what separates them from artists is the gift and talent to translate those mental images into something physical. 

Of course, this could all be considered part of the point of the whole film. The art world is full of BS and fakes. The masses will buy what they see getting all the attention and hype. Hell, that's why the whole thing is called Exit Through the Gift Shop. I'm not sure how "real" Mr. Brainwash is, but if he is it makes me want to stab. At least if you're going to do something that's been done before, do it your damn self. 

On a side note - Thierry's trailer for "his film" about street art, which he shows to Banksy, looked pretty cool. Yeah, it's wildly experimental but I really think it speaks a lot to the attention span of the art world and the fleeting glances some street art actually gets on the walls where it's given life. Not sure why Banksy was so opposed to that form of artistic expression. Maybe that's just more of the oddness about the film that we're supposed to think about after the fact. 

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