I like a good hoax. It's not easy to pull the wool over someones eyes, so when it is done and done well, I am colored impressed. It makes you question truth, question motive and question, above all, why?
I just finished watching Exit Through the Gift Shop - this film by street artist Banksy about the crazy and fucked up world of street art and, well, art in general. The movie goes down like this - this odd looking french man living in L.A. films everything, that's his 'thing.' While visiting family in France, he films his cousin, street artist Invader, doing his thing. French dude becomes obsessed with street art, spends all his time filming various street artist doing their thing. He hears about Banksy (honestly, who hasn't these days?) and by fate, meets up with Banksy while he is in L.A. and films him around the city, showing him the best walls to tag and helping him his whole visit. The two become friends and Banksy encourages French dude to actually make his documentary about street art that he's been saying he was going to do for the longest time. French dude gets his shit together, makes this stupid looking movie, shows it to Banksy who rightly calls it shit. For some crazy reason, Banksy encourages this guy to maybe go back and do something in the art world and dude takes this as his holy task and goes back to L.A. and reinvents himself as Mr. Brainwash, this crazy and surprisingly prolific street artist. Dude creates his first show, which sounds like its going to be a epic disaster, but instead pulls off one of the most amazing art shows ever and soon starts selling art like crazy, making millions.
So, you say, where is the Hoax?
It might not be clear at first and I have to admit, I'm still confused. Is it true? Is it a hoax? I kind of like to give myself into the films I watch and let myself be the target audience - in this case a fresh faced art fan who really believes Mr. Brainwash is this new and amazing street artist who suddenly made this huge name for himself overnight. But I also like to question things ,and not always believe what I see. The rumor is Mr. Brainwash is a front for the combined works of Banksy and Shepard Fairey, another street artist (The OBEY guy - come on. I KNOW you know him...). Banksy is famous for being a bit of a trickster, so I wouldn't put it past him and Shepard, I don't know much about him but there this glint in his eyes, my friends. You know he's up to no good.
I love it, to be honest and hope it is a Hoax. Art takes itself way to seriously and it could use a good punch to the ego now and then, you know? And the art? Well, the Mr. Brainwash art isn't crap, that's for sure. There are some interesting pieces there, but interesting for a new comer or for Banksy?
Also makes me wonder - just why are you so afraid Banksy? Or is this cloak over your persona just a game now? People grovel for your art, so exposing yourself wouldn't be dangerous or risky for the Street Art movement. Others have done it, others have succeeded so why not you?
The damn hoax, that's why.
Or is it?