Guetta's Exit Through The Gift Shop

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Behind every piece of art, there is a story, a motive, and an artist. ADD SENTENCE To the average American, when they see street art, they do not think about the story behind it, the artist who created it. After watching the documentary, Exit Through The Gift Shop, the unique world of street art was revealed to me. In this film, a French cameraman, Thierry Guetta, crosses paths with Bansky and ends up documenting a large portion of his work with the intention of creating a documentary about street art. However, half way through the film, the tables turn onto the focus of Guetta’s entry into the street art world and his success as a copyist of Bansky. Ultimately, at the end of the documentary, Banksy reveals the inauthenticity of Guetta’s…show more content…
The film follows the idea that street art’s authenticity, or inauthenticity, has much to do with the artists’ motivations. At the beginning of the documentary, when Guetta documents the the different street artist’s works, it is revealed that Banky appreciates other street artist who have spent years perfecting their craft, developing their own styles, and devoting their time to expressing themselves. Although Banksy argues in favor of the authenticity of art made by street artist like him, he calls into question Guetta’s art. “Each time Guetta pushes his camera into the face of a celebrity or artist at work, we cringe...We’re similarly overcome with discomfort as Guetta begins to plaster all over town drawings of himself holding a camera, copying the styles of Banksy and the street artist he has followed for so long” (BU PAPER). Most street artists are drawn to their art by their passion and their need to express themselves. It becomes unclear if Guetta does his street art for fame or for…show more content…
It is argued that Exit Through The Gift Shop is a hoax, that the story was made up for the sake of the documentary. If this argument is true, then Bansky himself created inauthentic art. The entire point of the documentary was to argue the ethics of authenticity, yet the documentary itself may not be authentic. Most people see the documentary as “a way for Banksy to tell his story but at the same time critique the street art phenomenon” (New York Times). Unfortunately,the documentary itself may make Banksy’s story become inauthentic due to the way the information was presented. “Ultimately, wondering whether “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is real or not may be moot. It certainly asks real questions: about the value of authenticity, financially and aesthetically; about what it means to be a superstar in a subculture built on shunning the mainstream; about how sensibly that culture judges, and monetizes, talent” (New York Times). The Ethics of Authenticity is an interesting new concept that Banksy brings to light in his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. This way of thinking about art evaluates the artist and the art itself. It evaluates the motivations and passions behind the artwork and the intentions the artists have for creating the art. Although, Bansky may contradict his own ethical beliefs, ethics is a gray area, and no one has ethical beliefs that do not contradict other beliefs
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