The highlight of Channel 4's recent street art weekend was the new Banksy movie 'Exit Through The Gift Shop'. It purports to tell the story of a video-maker from LA who rises to fame as a clueless street artist and features not just Banksy (in hoody of course) but also US artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his Obama election poster. It really is a must-see, but like so many Banksy exploits, maintains a strong prankster element. Is there really a Mr Brainwash or is it all a big hoax ? Look around on the web and no-one seems to be sure.
A different face of Banksy was shown on the Sunday night documentary ‘Graffiti Wars’, which tells the story of his alleged feud with graffiti artist King Robbo. It’s an amusing tale of clashing egos and spray cans at ten paces, with some interesting points to make on the differences between stencil and freehand work and even street art and vandalism. Sadly, there is a shocking twist at the end when it is revealed that Robbo was badly beaten up just when he was on the verge of making it in the commercial art world. He is currently in hospital in a deep coma. As the tags say on walls all over London: ‘Get well soon Robbo !’