Anyone who has seen the film Exit Through The Gift Shop is familiar with the art and legend of the British graffiti artist, film director, social activist and painter called Banksy. Deftly blending social and political commentary in a distinctive stenciling style featuring striking and humorous images, his work can be found on the walls, bridges and street surfaces of cities around the world. While the message of his art is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment, his work also serves as his own personal flip-off to governments who label graffiti as vandalism.
Banksy himself is an enigmatic figure, and part of his brilliance has been his ability to create a constant buzz about himself while rarely being seen. Working under the cover of darkness in a guerilla style with select trusted assistants, few have seen his face, or know his true identity. Despite his shadowy figure, through his outspoken viewpoints, celebrity status and sold out exhibitions, he has become one of the most influential artists of the 21st century. In 2010, Exit Through The Gift Shop, which he directed, was nominated for a Best Documentary Academy Award.
If you have not seen Exit Through The Gift Shop I suggest you put it at the top of your list. It’s an absorbing and enlightening doco that deftly examines the nature of art and creativity. Until then, enjoy the work of the amazing Bansky!