Generally, art is created, displayed and then sold. That tends to be the normal way of doing things. With the street artist Banksy, though, nothing is normal. Much of his work is displayed in public for all to see, and while it would ideally remain there as something beautiful as well as provocative, governing bodies don’t consider the outdoors an open canvas. Therefore, Banksy’s work regularly get painted over, removed or, in some cases, stolen.
That last case is the most interesting one because you can’t just drive down their street and steal a painting. Banksy’s work, however, is there for the taking. Stealing a Banksy with the express desire to resell it is the subject of How To Sell A Banksy, a documentary by Alper Cagatay and Christopher Thompson. Check out the trailer after the jump.
Thanks to The Awesomer for the heads up.
I imagine Banksy is sitting somewhere in Los Angeles right now (because he was nominated for an Oscar for his directorial debut Exit Through the Gift Shop) laughing at the media coverage and obsession with his work. (Not to mention several films about him that he didn’t direct.) Due to the huge critical acclaim bestowed on his film, plus some well-placed pieces of art around Hollywood in recent weeks, he’s got everyone talking about a variety of different things.
Which is exactly the point, isn’t it? Banksy is meant to provoke. He wants you to steal his art because there’s a moral conundrum there, he wants you to think he created Mr. Brainwash, he wants you to find pieces of art that he didn’t do but could have. This all plays into the questions like “What is art?” “Is art important?” and “Who is an artist?” that permeate in Exit Through the Gift Shop.
And, from this trailer, it looks like those questions and more will be discussed in How To Steal A Banksy. Is it okay to just take this art off the street? And is it your right to make money off of something that you had nothing to do? And what, if anything, is it worth?
Here’s the plot description of the film from its official site. No words on upcoming screenings but we’ll keep an eye out.
Banksy’s work now reportedly changes hands for millions. But he puts up his street art for free. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you got your hands on one of these? Does it mean you’ve found a winning lottery ticket or just scraped some worthless crap off a wall?
Going up against the Art Establishment, Critics, Auction Houses, Gallery Owners and Authentication Boards in a quest for the elusive meal ticket, two filmmakers unwittingly gatecrash the murky and protective world of Banksy.
“HOW TO SELL A BANKSY” raises questions of ownership, authentication and the true value of art itself. Through all the chaos and incompetence comes a modern-day, true-story, crime-theft, comedy-caper.