12th December 2010: Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)

In academia, the art world and Web 2.0 consulting you can spend years honing and developing your craft. Or you can just pretend to be the ‘real’ thing, try and create a media buzz, and enjoy your Warholesque 15 minutes of fame and more. Thierry Guetta’s artistic self-creation is odd to watch. Guetta’s Los Angeles home movies lead him to cousin Invader and then into guerrilla street art as Guetta befriends Shepard Fairey, Banksy and others, and shoots some historic street footage. When Guetta’s delivered film project turns into a mess, he turns Banksy’s suggestion of a small exhibition into an LA Weekly media event, sells US$1 million in pop-street art as Mr. Brainwash, and lands the cover of Madonna’s Greatest Hits. A little like what digital curators Jeff Dachis and Craig Kanarick did with dotcom era firm Razorfish: parlaying an art interest into new careers and reinvention. Exit Through The Gift Shop is part street art documentary, part Warholesque reinvention, part speculative bubble, and part guide to ‘project rescue’ decisions.