Saturday, November 5, 2011

Exit Through the Gift Shop: The Graffiti of Europe

(Pac Man Ghost. Rome- Over looking Trevi Fountain)
Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary by a French Shop Keeper and novice film maker who set out in an attempt to locate this famous graffiti artist known as Banksy.
It's mildly entertaining and worth a watch...but certanly has acheived cult status in its own right.
I thought about this movie a lot while I was traveling around Europe and decided to take photos of random pieces of graffiti there.
I was constantly disappointed in the level of graffiti in Europe.
I would be inside a museum or gallery looking at these marvelous works of art...
I mean, just stunned by brushwork and shading and colors and skill...
The genuis of skill... it wasn't the art of it... I get it... DaVinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo...
For me it's always the average artisan... the guy that goes totally unnoticed, just doing his job and creating amazing art in his own way...
I love that, I thrive off that... I want to be that... the man in the back of the kitchen pumping out plate after plate of delicious goodies...
The man in the wood shop cutting a perfect groove in a slab of wood...or the mechanic eyeing the balance of a motor... I love men at work at their craft...
And in my own way, I am that... I want to be an artist at my job. This is not boasting... just... well, anyone who is an artist in life knows to what I am speaking.
Anyway... I would come out of these museums and galleries and expect to find all this incredible European graffiti, you know, the guys who were not famous enough to have their work proudly hanging on t-shirts and under lights... but I saw really nothing that inspired me. It was mere hacks, just scratchings on the wall. Where was the real street art? Where was the inspiration? I just didn't see it.
I guess I am still looking. Even now back in Taiwan, I am searching... In the end, you have to make art yourself. Don't you?

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