Street Art Anthropology
In the film “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” Theirry Guetta aka Mr. BrainWash, focuses on the exploration of underground street art, where he accidentally encounters his new focus and passion. So where does anthropology tie into street art? Throughout this documentary there are many anthropological terms that can be discussed. From the cultural relativism of street art societies, to the ideology behind street art culture itself, there are many different beliefs and opinions towards street art.
Theirry Guetta was a successful owner of a clothing store in Los Angeles, California, where he continued his obsession with videography. After a visit with his cousin Invader, he finds himself recording his cousin in the act of creating street art on the streets of Paris. Theirry states that “I like what they are doing, I love it because it is a mix of fear & getting something nobody sees.” Losing interest in filming Invader, Theirry wanted more, he sought someone who could keep him on a steady thrill. That is when he was introduced to Shepard Fairey, where he decided to make a street art documentary and started traveling with Fairey. Then Fairey introduced Guetta to one of the street artists Guetta had wanted to meet, Banksy. After following Banksy and his failed attempt to create a film, Banksy recommended Guetta to “Get out there and create art.” After taking Banksys advice Guetta created many street art pieces
and soon after became one of the most renowned street artists known as Mr. BrainWasher. But not many street artists believe that Guetta earned or followed the street art rules to achieve his success.
Banksy started out as a provincial graffiti artist taking vandalism to an entirely new direction. Not everyone views street art as culture or actual art. It is often viewed as graffiti or vandalism. Not all pieces of street art can be understood by everyone. Some can only be meaningful to the artist themselves....
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