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(Untitled) dir. Jonathan Parker(Untitled) dir. Jonathan Parker
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22 Sep 10
The world of art recognized?

Artist or vandal? Capitalist or anarchist? Banksy became a cult figure among graffiti artists and other young people by creating the image of a faceless man without an identity, an eternal fugitive and a street artist with great talent. He became a popular culture icon, and is much closer now to comic book superheroes combating the injustice and hypocrisy of the modern world than to the artists whose works are showcased in art galleries. Banksy's works are easy to recognize; they found imitators, gained symbolic meaning, and some motifs have already been hailed as classical. Even though he has already published several albums with his art, and his graffiti paintings are auctioned by Sotheby's, the artist's identity still remains unknown. Banksy is generally believed to have been born in 1974 in Bristol as Robert Banks, but these data have never been officially confirmed. There are even two photographs of Banksy, the only problem being that they depict two different people.

He creates mostly stencil graffiti, as well as sticker art, sculptures and installations. While sometimes his paintings were created on animals instead of walls (Turf War, 2003), he recently revisited some classic masterpieces (Monet's Water Lilies or Hopper's Nighthawks). The 1st AFF will screen his feature-length debut as a filmmaker, entitled Exit Through the Gift Shop. Please note that Banksy himself will appear in the film, too.

Banksy: "I guess my ambition was to make a film that would do for graffiti art what The Karate Kid did for martial arts - a film that would get every schoolkid in the world picking up a spray can and having a go. As it turns out, I think we might have a film that does for street art what Jaws did for waterskiing."

Exit Through the Gift Shop shown at the 1st AFF

The artist's website

Banksy - artistic guerrilla

Meanwhile, Jonathan Parker teamed up with his regular collaborator, screenwriter Catherine DiNapoli, to make a film called Untitled starring Adam Goldberg, showing the other pole of contemporary art - the hermetic NYC artistic circles - in an irreverent, Allen-esque style. He spies on the celebrities of the art market and on bitter artists, as well as on collectors and gallery owners. The director is fascinated by the unique contemporary art scene phenomenon, but also exposes its weaknesses.

Untitled shown at the 1st AFF

Interview with the director

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