In the beginning of Exit Through the Gift Shop, I was super jealous of all the street artists and wished I shared their talent and bravery. Street artists are risking their lives (well mainly their criminal records) to beautify our cities, and the film made me think about how much we take street art for granted. However, Thierry’s work made me appreciate street art even less, and I thought to myself, “Well if he can do it, why can’t I?” I did not hold Thierry’s art to a higher standard because his “art” looked so easy to replicate, and on top of that HE DIDN’T EVEN MAKE IT HIMSELF! Leonardo or Michelangelo didn’t have a factory of people making their art!
Nonetheless, when Fairey said, “Street art has a short life span and needs documentation,” I thought about how much rarer street art is than the art that’s so revered in museums. However, in England, Banksy is revered and it seemed as though every time he released a new piece of art, it warranted a lot of attention. Yet I had never heard of Banksy before this film. Of course those in England who see Banksy’s street art every day will hold it to a higher standard and may even considerate high art. So I think that if street art were more attainable and more people could see it, it would be just as appreciated if not more than “high art”.
I think street artist are trying to say that their art is even more valuable than what is in museums because it’s not always attainable for everyone to see, which makes it even more rare than “high art”. You have to be in the right place at the right time to see it. But Banksy made graffiti and street art more attainable and revered with his showcase. Therefore I do think the film might have been staged by Banksy to showcase more of his own art and the art of other popular street artists like Fairey. I think at the end of the film where the bulldozer knocked down Thierry’s brick wall, Banksy was definitely trying to delivera message that Mr. Brainwash’s art is utter trash.