Subversive Art: “Exit through the Gift Shop”

By Bonny Ibhawoh,
I saw this movie by chance. I was recently on a transatlantic flight and it was one of the few movies available that sounded interesting. The title certainly caught my attention. “Exit through the Gift Shop” is a comedic documentary about the subversive underground world of graffiti artistes centred on the character of an eccentric French immigrant shopkeeper in the US who immerses himself in that world. It is a hilarious and somewhat irreverent insight into a shadowy dissident subculture of graffiti street art.
The movie was produced by Banksy, the enigmatic and faceless graffiti artiste who has gained a global reputation for his satirical street art and subversive epigrams done in a distinctive stenciling technique.
The movie which was nominated for an Academy award comes highly recommended. Some of Banky’s works certainly make you think about the power of Art as an agent of socio-political commentary.