To the glory of Banksy and other street artists

Banksy in Mexico City

The film Banksy and The Rise of Outlaw Art, a detailed story about how an obscure Bristol graffiti artist became a world-famous artist, is released.

Elio Escan’s documentary Banksy, subtitled The Rise of Outlaw Art, will not reveal the mystery and don`t even hope. The real name of the artist will not be given to the audience, and his faces will not be shown. Only a man in a hood will flicker in the photographs, but everyone who is interested in Banksy has already seen them. And in general, the question, who is this person, signing the famous pseudonym, and what he looks like, has been intriguing for so long that people are tired of looking for the answer.

But the film explains in detail what kind of artist Banksy is, how he has started, what he has done over the years, why he has become famous, and how he avoids becoming a part of the global art industry. Old-fashioned expression, this film is the creative biography of the artist.

There is no criticism in the film, not a single reproach, not a shadow of doubt about the correctness of his decisions and actions, not a word about the exploitation of the same images and techniques, no mention of periods of doubts and crises. Although Banksy is the star of the art world, his work is sold and resold, so he is part of the art market that he can ridicule, but not win.

To the glory of Banksy and other street artists
Banksy mural on Green Lanes, London, 24 August 2014.

The film begins and ends with world-shocking footage when on October 5, 2018, in front of Sotheby’s auction participants, the newly sold painting “Girl with a Balloon” by Banksy self-destructed. This action by the author of the painting himself was delightful, but the remains of the image in the frame, which had already become another work of art with a new name, were bought anyway. It’s funny that in the film, Steve Lazarides, for a long time the former representative and dealer of the artist, talks about Banksy’s disinterestedness (reasonable, of course, only a fool refuses money that goes into his own hands).

Other speakers of the film, his associates from the days of Bristol youth, artists Ben Ain and Alan Keith, tell much more sincere and fun about working with Banksy. You believe them that for a graffiti artist, the main thing is not money but the thrill from work and a kind message to people. They fondly recall the 1990s, when in Bristol, they acted quickly and anonymously just because the police were hunting them. And they are clearly annoyed that fame came to them, not after an important, deeply humanistic action in Palestine, but when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie visited their exhibition. Listening to them, you will believe that Banksy is a living person, cheerful, daring, intelligent, the best among street art artists, and not a spectacular project created by calculating puppeteers.

To the glory of Banksy and other street artists
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 12: Sotheby’s unveils Banksy’s newly-titled ‘Love is in the Bin’ at Sotheby’s on October 12, 2018, in London, England. Originally titled ‘Girl with Balloon’, the canvas passed through a hidden shredder seconds after the hammer fell at Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art Evening Sale on October 5, 2018, making it the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)

The film, as befits a serious biographical work, tells in detail about Banksy’s predecessors, about the New York graffiti artists who appeared in the 1970s, teenagers for whom writing their name in a subway car or at a bus stop meant showing the world that they exist. Banksy`s biographer Will Ellsworth Jones is responsible for the story and theory in the film. Together with the director, he formulates the main idea of ​​the film: Banksy is a folk artist, a guide of ordinary people to the world of art, he speaks to them in an understandable language, answers the urgent questions for them, reacts to the events that excite them.

Perhaps they would never have come to serious art museums if Banksy hadn’t amused them there with his antics.

The film Banksy and The Rise of Outlaw Art tells about the artists who create on the streets, with such love and understanding shows the works of Banksy from different periods, and they are really remarkably smart and witty, that it is a pleasure to watch it.



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