Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) – Street Art Disaster Movie

“Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a unique documentary. There are several reasons why I say this film is unique. Firstly, from my personal point of view, I really love street art. Moreover, Banksy is my favorite street artist. People say that he is just someone who has nothing. On the other hand, he has a passion with the touch of his hand criticizing the world through art.

I drew graffiti in my own room probably several years ago and finished it for about two years. However, I don’t think it’s completely right now and today, I don’t really care. Secondly, this film made me want to start moving again into painting and drawing. Just like I often did when I was in school. Draw anime characters, fan art, graffiti, and doddle. After college, I began to pursue digital art and vectors but only lasted a few years after that.

Banksy is a mysterious street artist from England who is very popular even today. Instead, he feels that making a film is more interesting to tell. He took the right choice to take over the role of director of this movie. Back again, he tells a story of the birth of this filmmaker, sensational, and genius. He is Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant who lives in Los Angeles, United States. If you don’t know who Thierry was, have you ever heard of Mr. Brainwash? People often call it the next Andy Warhol. However, a strange feeling emerged from other artists including Banksy. Because an outline appears what distinguishes Mr. Brainwash and other street artists?

Guetta has a habit of carrying a camera wherever he goes. Wherever he goes, he will record anything without someone’s knowledge he wants to record. He really likes to document anything. One day, he traveled to France for a family event. There, his cousin’s activities as a street artist make him so interested. He is Invader or commonly known for his mosaic art. Apparently, his cousin has an internationally reputed name. Invader makes Guetta so amazed because of his tenacity, passion, and discipline after he shows off his art. In the end, Guetta then began to get acquainted with many other street artists. Then, they were all directly involved in a “business” and “work”.

In particular, Guetta followed Shepard Fairey’s adventure with his propaganda OBEY art, one of the famous street artists. From here, Guetta began to become obsessed with making a documentary about the lives of these artists. With desperately and must escape from any disturbance, their adventure began. Until finally, he hears about the mysterious actions of Banksy. However, Banksy is not a public figure and shows who he really was. Lucky, Guetta receives a telephone call for him. Banksy was interested in Guetta because of his tenacity in recording anything.

With just a camera, Guetta began recording whatever Banksy did and helped in painting his work. Guetta began to collect the footage he had been saving for a long time. However, Banksy began to realize that Guetta was just someone with his mental illness. He said that his film was very unwatchable. Finally, with direction from Banksy, be this film in a different direction. Meanwhile, Banksy suppresses Guetta’s efforts to become an established artist.

Not shy, Guetta began employing several artists who were competent to realize his artistic ideas. Guetta tries to frame an amalgamation from various pop modern art he has absorbed based on experience. He began making his first exhibition as Mr. Brainwash. On the interesting side, Guetta has an abundant potential in this matter. On the downside, Guetta didn’t go through various phases such as Banksy and other legendary artists. Mr. Brainwash, easily or luckily, makes a lot of money through his work. Regardless of which, many artists learn arts and hone their original ideas for years. Guetta was different. Therefore, the credibility of this film is very doubtful as a fake documentary. Should I just say, mockumentary?

This documentary is so enjoyable for those of you who love art or not. In fact, this is more entertaining than usual documentaries. Fast pacing and narration flow continuously and smoothly. It’s very easy to follow and not really that boring. A variety of footage shows Guetta doing various kinds of carelessness and just hanging out. Then, it’s taken from a variety of different angles. Banksy showed structured suspensions from street artists in this film. As an artist, he has expertise in directing this “mockumentary”.

What is art really? Is passion more useful than value? It’s quite significant in giving an image of art and street artists. Personally, graffiti is an art with its essence. It’s not Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso or even Andy Warhol. The question: are graffiti art or vandalism? This is returned and depends on our perception of each individualism. However, creativity is unlimited. “Exit Through the Gift Shop” confirms an icon of qualified contemporary art, modern art, and pop culture. Banksy, in addition to his sensations and reputation, is clearly able to frame a medium of art included in filmmaking. This is a credible validation of the artists in this film. I have a question: is life imitates art or art imitates life? Or, do we need both of them?

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Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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