Friday, May 21, 2010

Graffiti is not vandalism

Saw the film 'Exit through the gift shop' tonight. It was a thought provoking documentary, indeed. Or was it? Was it a ruse? Was it the artist taking the piss out of his followers and fans? Mister Brainwash was the narrator and shooter in the start of the story but by part way through, it seems as though the camera has been taken away from him and into the hands of Banksy, the rock star graffiti artist who was the focus of the film in the first place. Mister Brainwash becomes an instant art star by creating hype around himself. The hype is successful  and the failed filmmaker becomes a star in the LA art world. But, didn't Banksy become famous by taking pop culture and turning it on its head? Is the artist taking the piss out of himself, using allegory? 
I appreciated all the art and the process of illegally painting walls. It is the danger and the temporary nature of the art that electrifies it. 
Many people see graffiti as vandalism but I do not see it that way. It is one way of making our architecturally dull world that we have created and make it more lively and fun. I also like political messages or societal comments that others will see and absorb. I just don't see it as ugly and I don't include paint and stickers into the 'broken window' theory. 
I urge all people to see this gem. It is inspiring and I will buy it when it comes out on DVD because it is something I would want to view over and over. 
Just because.

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