Exit Through The Gift Shop By Banksy: The Story Of Street Art

1111 Words 5 Pages
In 2010, Banksy, the well renowned English street artist, released a documentary called Exit Through the Gift Shop. This film features the story of Theirry Guetta, a French immigrant who has an obsession with capturing every event in his life that ultimately leads him to developing his identity as Mr. Brainwash. His original intent was to create a documentary about street art but we soon find that the documentary begins to focus on Guettas introduction and journey into the street art world. Ultimately we see this documentary expose Guetta’s art as inauthentic by using certain scenes to compare his art and passion to that of other street artists. Banksy explores how our search for authenticity collides with the way we evaluate true art in modern …show more content…
The authenticity of art is a big part of its worth as our desire for authenticity is a central part of contemporary culture. Authenticity refers to “the essence of all that is transmissible from its beginning, ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony to the history which it has experienced” (Benjamin, 1969). In essence, authenticity is linked to the moral authority of the creator and to the fact that it was made by hand, not mechanically reproduced. Banksy’s view on authenticity looks more deeply at the artist’s motivation for creating the work of art and the biography of said artist. The question then becomes, is street art authentic? According to Camille Lannert, street art “is representative of an individual’s identity that is consistently portrayed in the artist’s work” (Lannert, 2015). Lannert’s definition supports Banksy’s view of authenticity by saying that self- identity and expression are the two driving forces behind street artist’s work. Dr. Mark Halsey and Professor Alison Young suggest that artists create street art primarily for pleasure, which includes both the emotional pleasure …show more content…
We can see through the scenes specifically captured and chosen of Guetta that Banksy does not believe that Guetta’s art reflects his passion or his true identity in the way that other street artist’s work does. The tacky music, the quote from his wife suggesting that Guetta places more importance of art over his family, and the obvious replication of art based on Banksy’s style all add to the atmosphere of contempt that Banksy creates. Unlike with other artists, Guetta’s motivations for art are clearly not just artistic passion but rather are fueled more by the fame and profit that have come out of being a street artist. This addresses one of Banksy’s main points: not all street art is

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