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Exit Through The Gift Shop's Banksy Named Torontoist 2010 Hero; Talks Art, Film To Change The World

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood December 21, 2010 at 3:11AM

Exit Through The Gift Shop's semi-subject and director Banksy has been named one of the Torontoist's 2010 Heros (they've got Villains, too). In May, the mysterious street artist created seven pieces throughout the city (by now most are gone, the inevitable fate of street art). But, as Torontoist's Nick Mount writes, "the main virtue of Banksy's North American tour is simply that it got some of us out of our homes and into what's left of our public spaces on a collective scavenger hunt, searching for Banksy and often finding each other." Torontoist says of the seven gifts to their city, "That Toronto fucked them up was too bad, but what mattered most is that they were ours to find in the first place."
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Thompson on Hollywood


Exit Through The Gift Shop's semi-subject and director Banksy has been named one of the Torontoist's 2010 Heros (they've got Villains, too). In May, the mysterious street artist created seven pieces throughout the city (by now most are gone, the inevitable fate of street art). But, as Torontoist's Nick Mount writes, "the main virtue of Banksy's North American tour is simply that it got some of us out of our homes and into what's left of our public spaces on a collective scavenger hunt, searching for Banksy and often finding each other." Torontoist says of the seven gifts to their city, "That Toronto fucked them up was too bad, but what mattered most is that they were ours to find in the first place."

Here is an interview with Banksy, where he talks Exit Through The Gift Shop's Thierry Guetta, anonymity, "selling out" and his art's relationship to film:

"The art I make is similar to film - my paintings are essentially freeze frames from movies that are playing in my head. I think its pretty clear that film is the pre-eminent art form of our age. If Michaelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci were alive today they’d be making Avatar, not painting a chapel. Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it."

[Photos courtesy of HighSnobiety]

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Genres, Independents, Daily Read, Documentaries


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.