Wall Writers showing this Saturday the 22nd in Vancouver at The Olio Arts festival

September 17 2012 . 11:07pm

From director Roger Gastman—a producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop—comes Wall Writers, a documentary on graffiti in its innocence.

Through unprecedented access to TAKI 183, CORNBREAD, and a host of other legendary writers, Wall Writers tells the story of a time when underprivileged city kids refused to keep lurking in the shadows, when the streets were so wild that fame and infamy became indistinct, when art became a democracy and self-promotion became an art.

And the narration is done by John Waters!

If you live in Vancouver come check it out!

Find out more at: oliofestival.com

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Roger Gastman | Tag He’s It in NY TIMES

March 12 2011 . 01:31pm

In the first issue of his graffiti and pop-culture magazine While You Were Sleeping, Roger Gastman thanked “Mom for the loot,” and then thanked “everyone who ever told me that graff was a dumb waste of my time.” Gastman, who was 19 at the time, had already been running a graffiti supply business in Bethesda, Md., for three years and was starting to assemble a valuable collection of graffiti ephemera, sourcing discontinued Krylon paint colors at mom-and-pop hardware stores as though he knew, even as a teen, that his obsession would serve him well.

Now 33 and living in Los Angeles, Gastman is still having the last laugh. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, is gearing up for the April opening of “Art in the Streets,” a major graffiti and street-art survey he’s curating along with the museum’s new director, Jeffrey Deitch, and the independent curator Aaron Rose. “The History of American Graffiti” (HarperCollins), written by Gastman and Caleb Neelon, also comes out next month.

While the tattooed, baseball-capped Gastman says he wasn’t expecting the e-mail he received from Deitch about the MoCA show, “I sort of feel like I’ve been training for it my whole life.”

He was introduced to his calling in the streets of Washington, D.C. “Everyone had a tag,” he recalls, sitting under an Adam Wallacavage octopus chandelier in his Los Feliz living room. “It was just what you did.” His skills may have been “average at best,” but he was there — climbing the rooftops, painting the freight train cars and documenting it all. He says his tight network of artists, collaborators and friends is simply a product of being in the right place at the right time — he met the now legendary Saber under a bridge when he was 15 — and an ability to keep his word. “Most people are flaky,” he says with a shrug.

“What I really liked about Roger from the beginning,” says Shepard Fairey, a fixture in the pages of While You Were Sleeping and later Gastman’s partner in Swindle magazine, “was that he seemed really self-motivated, smart, funny and irreverent. But he’s also professional enough to put out a magazine and organize all the moving parts that go into that. It’s a pretty unique blend.”

Swindle — named in honor of the Sex Pistols movie — came out from 2004 to 2008, years that saw seismic shifts in the impact and visibility of street art and graffiti. Banksy’s 2006 “Barely Legal” show in L.A. was heralded on one cover, featuring his spoof of a naked, pregnant Demi Moore. In early 2008, Fairey designed the Obama “Hope” graphic. By the time Gastman was called in to help Mr. Brainwash, a k a Thierry Guetta, an eccentric Frenchman obsessed with street art, mount a massive show on Sunset Boulevard, Fairey and Banksy were practically household names.

To everyone’s surprise, the Banksy documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” which explores the street-art phenomenon through the story of Guetta’s unlikely ascent, received lots of mainstream attention. (Gastman was a consulting producer on the film and also has a cameo.) “I keep thinking the bubble’s gonna burst, this can’t get bigger,” he says. “Then somebody pushes something else.”

According to Deitch, graffiti/street art is the most influential art movement since Pop, and the level of interest from the public and from scholars is what necessitated the show. “It’s so big,” he says. “The museum world now has to acknowledge it and look at it from a historical point of view.”

Some may think the two are interchangeable, but Gastman says street art and graffiti are “very different animals.” The former is iconic and message-driven, while graffiti is simply the practice of writing your name over and over again for the sake of fame: “They want to be king of their block.”

Aware of the inherent irony of a curated museum show celebrating mostly illegal, temporary outdoor art, Deitch and Gastman have chosen to focus on those artists who have gone on to build serious careers. A large part of the exhibition will be installations by mythic outlaws like the subway painter and “Wild Style” star Lee Quiñones and Chaz Bojórquez, whose style draws from cholo gang graffiti and Asian calligraphy. There will also be works by still-rising stars like Miss Van and Revok. Fun Gallery, the East Village storefront where Patti Astor showcased graffiti and gave early shows to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, will be recreated on-site.

Fairey, who will also be doing an installation, says Gastman’s presence is a buffer. “With a crowd of people so inherently suspicious of the wielders of power — the gatekeepers — to have somebody like Roger involved is extremely important.”

Still, Gastman, who has curated art shows for clients like Scion and Sanrio, knows that a stamp of approval from the establishment only carries so much weight for artists who have chosen the street as their gallery. “They’re excited to be in a museum setting,” he says, “but they’re also still really excited to go paint a huge wall off the freeway.”

nytimes.com x RogerGastman.com

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Photos from Banksy Exit Through the Gift Shop premiere by Willie T

April 13 2010 . 03:23am

Find out more at: GoodTimesMedia.tv

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Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop | Extended sneak peek video

April 07 2010 . 02:37pm


Exit Through the Gift Shop, the first film by renowned graffiti artist Banksy, became the hottest ticket at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival where it made its world debut. Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post—hurricane New Orleans to the separation barrier on the Palestinian West Bank. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film. Exit Through the Gift Shop tells the incredible true story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner – with spectacular results. The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work, on walls and in interview. As Banksy describes it, “It’s basically the story of how one man set out to film the un—filmable. And failed”

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Exit Through The Gift Shop – A Banksy Film

January 21 2010 . 05:25am

Notorious street artist Banksy, whose work has decorated his home town of Bristol and Israel’s West Bank barrier, has turned his hand to film-making.

Exit Through The Gift Shop will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, his agent told the BBC.

It will be the first time the elusive artist, who has never revealed his identity, has spoken on camera.

Billed as "the world’s first street art disaster movie", its inclusion in the festival has been shrouded in secrecy.

Sundance organisers are due to announce its inclusion at a press conference on Thursday.

Unexpected stunts

Exit Through The Gift Shop was left off the official programme, but speculation about the festival’s Spotlight Surprise turned to Banksy after four stencils, believed to be by the artist, appeared on walls in Park City, where the festival is held.

Banksy is known for teasing his audience, toying with authority, and continually pulling the wool over people’s eyes to stage unexpected stunts.

Last year, he installed 100 of his artworks in Bristol’s council-owned museum under the noses of top officials, and once smuggled a life-size statue of a Guantanamo Bay detainee into Disneyland.

Exit Through The Gift Shop will have its world premiere at the festival on Sunday.

It is described as the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on him.

Infamous artist

Banksy said: "It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed".

The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work.

But until the film is shown, it is not known whether Banksy’s identity will be revealed.

In the past, the artist has both mythologised and subverted his own image, so the film could raise as many questions as it answers.

John Cooper, director of the Sundance Festival, said the story was so bizarre that he questioned whether it could be real.

"Exit Through The Gift Shop is one of those films that comes along once in a great while, a warped hybrid of reality and self-induced fiction while at the same time a totally entertaining experience," he added.

Exit Through The Gift Shop is due to open in UK cinemas on 5 March.

Find out more at: www.banksyfilm.com

Source: BBC.CO.UK

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