Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Banksy in LA...twice

Los Angeles is a big place, so if you were to release your underground graffiti art film which cinema would you choose? Well, Banksy didn't stress too much and was able to give both West LA and Hollywood some love.

And he didn't have one kick off, he had two! On Monday L.A. VIPs got a preview screening at an old skool cinema in gritty downtown L.A. (San Fran heads got theirs last night) complete with a masked piano player, kids serving behind the bar and a graffitied red carpet and truck for vandalizing!

For us mere mortals, Banksy's film, "Exit Through the Giftshop," will premiere to the public in L.A. tomorrow at the Landmark (no connection to the self-improvement cult organization) and the Arclight.

If you want to hear the back story about this film (Banksy and Mr. Crapwash) then read all about it in this week's LA Weekly or check out The Times of London.

"In the late '90s, at a family reunion in France, Guetta realized that he is a cousin of mosaic artist Space Invader, and began documenting the burgeoning street-art scene worldwide for his own film. Over the past decade, Guetta and his camera had unrestricted access to street art's most prolific talents, including the scene's anonymous cult figure, Banksy.
After being the subject of Guetta's lens for nearly 10 years, Banksy realized the potential of Guetta's footage. He then suggested that Guetta hand over his tapes and instead occupy himself with making his own art, perhaps even staging a show in L.A. Guetta's subsequent hiring of some 20 assistants to produce a major exhibition culminated in the now-infamous June 2008 show in Hollywood that catapulted him to celebrity status.

Meanwhile, Banksy and friends began work on "Exit" using Guetta's footage. And in "Exit," we glimpse what Guetta's documentary might have looked like: an unwatchable, crosscut, random, self-promotional mishmash called Life Remote Control, part '80s-style music video, part schizophrenic nightmare. After first seeing Guetta's rough cut, Banksy recalls in "Exit," 'I didn't know if I believed he was a filmmaker or a mental patient with a camera.'
Guetta may have spent years stalking Banksy with his camera, but by the end of the film, it's difficult to decide who's more obsessed with whom.
'I continue to find the rise of Mr. Brainwash absolutely fascinating,' Banksy quips. 'His art sells for roughly double what mine does these days. Gore Vidal once wrote that "Every time a friend of mine succeeds, a little bit of me dies." I'd amend that to 'Every time one of my friends borrows my ideas, mounts a huge art show and becomes a millionaire celebrity,' a little bit of me wants him dead.'
Whatever the case, there's something undeniably L.A. about the success of Mr. Brainwash. 'Thierry is the living embodiment of the American dream,' Banksy says. 'America's capacity to be infuriating is matched only by its capacity to reinvent itself into something brilliant...In Los Angeles, you can rise without a trace. There's a moment in the film where you see a dude joining the back of the line at an art show. He says he doesn't know why he's there, but he joins it anyway. The first time I saw that, I laughed — it was the emperor's new clothes, the triumph of hype and hot air.'" LA Weekly

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