Exit Through the Gift Shop was an intriguing look into the fascinating mind of Banksy. I loved that this film rapidly pivots mid-way through to become a critique of the Art World, the meaning of art and, most interesting, a critique on our media-driven society. I had actually avoided watching this movie for years because I thought it was a documentary about street-art and Banksy's work - interesting yet not particularly compelling. This film ultimately becomes one of the most interesting films I have seen in years by showing how ridiculous our celebrity-driven society has become. When researching the movie after I watched it, I found that in fact many people believe the "persona" of Mr. Brainwash is a fabricated creation by Banksy himself. If this is true, the Mr. Brainwash Project is perhaps one of the biggest hoaxes the art world has ever seen. Comparing Exit Through the Gift Shop to F for Fake, we also are faced with questions about the true value of art and the commoditization of art. Both films force us to address what it means to be an artist. For me, in art school, this is an interesting notion.
I recently saw this "street-art ad" while walking down the street. With these films in my head, I can't help but think that here is another example of the commoditization of art and, in particular, the street art culture.