I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don’t do that so much anymore – Banksy
I do this (art) because I can’t do anything else – Jean Marie Casbarian
Two hours into Exit Through the Gift Shop I think to myself that this is probably the most self-serving documentary I have ever seen! How can it insult my intelligence?! Thankfully I came to the resolution that I might as well finish watching it, I’ve already been sitting in front of the screen for 3 hours!
Note to self: The movie is actually 87 minutes long.
I am very happy I sat through Exit till the end to realize how great of a documentary it is. Exit touches on more than one subject that relates to art and what art is to people. I often have conversations about how it bugs me how “free” or “open” modern art is. On one hand I think it’s an amazing outlet for so many to express their individuality but on the other, it gives rise to so many pseudo-artists. Such is the case in Exit where we meet Thierry who decides, almost overnight, to become the next big “artist”. It’s quite terrifying to see him develop from beginning to end. Banksy described Theirry very well when he said: Warhol repeated iconic images until they became meaningless, but there was still something iconic about them. Thierry really makes them meaningless.
Exit also touches on the notion of why art is created. There are ones that would say that artists like Banksy, for example, is a stooge for wanting to create without thinking of profiting from art while Thierry is the winner here, having been able to transfer what he does (regardless of it being “real” art or not) into a big sum in his banking account. This could turn into pages and pages of debate. Can you even consider street graffiti as art? However, this is not the purpose of this post.
I would really like you to see it. To me Exit was a funny story about the birth of a crazy man who wanted to be an artist as great as ones he’s came to meet in a fraction of the time it took them to become as good as they are now. Just be patient with it and watch it all the way through. Even better it’s FREE!!! to view! Head over to Hulu and watch it on there. It’s nominated for an Oscar, for best documentary, so try and see it before and let me know if you think it deserves the award! Also, drop me a comment once you’ve seen it or already have and let me know your thoughts. Maybe you can tell me who the joke is on…if there is any.read more