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According to the author and graphic designer Tristan Manco: “Banksy was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s." His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. According to Banksy, Exit Through a Gift Shop “is a film about a man who tried to make a film about me. Everything in it is true, especially the bits where we all lie." The documentary's focus is the French-born shop owner Thierry Guetta, whose apparent compulsion to videotape every moment of his life led him to document the phenomenon of contemporary street art. Guetta's cousin, a street artist known as Space Invader, allowed the cameraman to tape him as he illegally spread his artwork. Space Invader also introduced him to other street artists, whose work Guetta captured on tape. Guetta soon hears about the mysterious street artist Banksy, and becomes obsessed with finding him and videotaping his exploits. Thanks to Guettta's growing reputation among street artists, the two eventually meet and form a sort of partnership. They get along quite well until Banksy suggests that Guetta stop shooting, take the countless hours of footage he has accumulated, and start assembling them into a documentary.
This vocabulary may help you to understand the text. Read the text carefully again and answer the questions: Butcher: a person whose job is cutting up or selling meat in a shop. Epigram:a short phrase that expresses an idea in a clever or amusing way. Exploit: a brave, exciting or interesting act. Footage:part of a film showing a particular event Get along:to have a friendly relationship with somebody. Shoot: to make a film Subversive:trying to destroy or damage a government or political system by attacking it secretly or indirectly.
1. Do we know Banksy identity? 2. Where is he from? 3. How old is he? 4. What are Banksy’s works about? 5. What´s the title of Banksy’s first film? 6. According to Banksy, is the content of the film true? 7. Who is the person videotaping street art all the time? 8. Does this person manage to meet Banksy and tape his work? 9. Can you explain how this documentary was born? 10. Visit Banksy’s official website, choose one of his outdoor or inside graffitis and comment on it giving your own opinion. Write a paragraph.
Work in pairs. Ask the following questions to your classmate and then tell about it to the rest of the class.
DO YOU …. design and make objects? use watercolours? use oils? use pastels? sketch in charcoal? use sketch books? paint portraits? paint landscapes? paint on canvas? draw cartoons? frame pictures? illustrate poems? draw plans for a building? take artistic photos?
Look up the words you don’t know and write them down on your notebook.