I am often behind when it comes to movies. I like to blame it on a crazy work schedule, and to be honest I don’t frequent the movie theatre like I used to do. So yesterday after a 14 hr night shift (thankfully with sleep!), I curled up on the couch to watch Exit Through the Gift Shop. It is the true story of a Frenchman obsessed with videotaping everything, who stumbles upon the world of street art. I presume it helps when you’re related to the infamous street artist Space Invader….but regardless, he ends up building a relationship with the shadowy Banksy.
So about Banksy, I studied in London for a summer during college and was fascinated by these stenciled paintings throughout the city—subversive statements, sewer rats, and the scenes where it appears that the surface you are looking at is being pulled back to reveal its true character. It was almost like a scavenger hunt to find them. I am now kicking myself for not taking more pictures of them. Guess I’ll have to go back.
At the time I had no idea who Banksy was, but it is pretty neat in retrospect to have a shared experience of seeing transient works of art on the street.
I was also this clueless in Paris a few years ago. My friend Kim kept stopping and taking pictures of these “pacman-like” mosaics scattered throughout the city, and I wondered what in the world was going on. I personally wonder why they wouldn’t commission this sort of creativity, but I am sure the whole point is to have your act of rebellion against the establishment.
I will leave you with a picture of me and a Banksy original: