Exit Through The Gift Shop
The documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop gives a background on street art and what it started as. As the film progresses it gets into how an artist by the name of Mr. Brainwash changed that. Street art started with artists expressing themselves through their designs and images posted in public, but turned to a moneymaking operation for “Mr. Brainwash”. At the beginning of the film there was a lot of talk about getting people in society to notice the little things through these street artists work, which relates a lot to what we talked about in class.
The documentary shows how people can take something meant to be used solely for expression and to send a message as a moneymaking opportunity. Towards the end of the film when Thierry, Mr. Brainwash, become so wrapped up in the fame and attention his art is brining him, he fails to demonstrate what street art is really about. He never actually decides where most of the pieces in the exhibit go, the crew setting up the show placed them.
This proves one of the main points of the film, that money fame and attention are not what street art is about, it’s about being able to express yourself. This documentary connects to some of the discussions we have had in class because of the aspect of street art that causes you to notice the little things around you. We talked about how our cell phones and other devices distract us from noticing the little things around us, street art calls attention to these by adding small details to our everyday life and bringing our attention to them.
It puts different looking pieces of art into our everyday lives for us to notice. Banksy represented this through his painted elephant at the exhibit he held. He painted the elephant to represent how people wouldn’t notice the elephant because it was painted in colors that would allow it to blend into the background. This was an exaggeration on Banksy’s part but called attention to this idea through the use of an elephant.
This documentary connects how we discussed society’s lack of attention to details in class to the world of street art and those who create it. I really enjoyed watching this documentary and getting a close view into the world of street art. It gives you a perspective on how ideas such as street art, meant for expression and enjoyment of the artist can turn into a money making business centered on fame. This film was something I would have watched on my own time for enjoyment, but would never have know about so I’m glad this was brought up in class.