style wars / exit through the gift shop
in the movie exit through the gift shop, in the authorities were against their actions and didn’t consider their graffiti art in any way but just a crime that they should get arrested and locked up for. But that didn’t stop them from pursuing their art and getting their out there on the streets.
Graffiti art is characterized by its very unique style as it doesn’t look like art because it’s not displayed in a typical artwork environment. Graffiti is about storytelling not proper displaying, it’s sometimes location-specific for a message for all to see, and delivering ideas beyond the rules of its location, which often against the law. It’s about marking and labeling the foot prints of the artists and their stance in society. Graffiti is their creative idea of freedom, the freedom of speech and the freedom of making. Fine art is seen within showcases and in galleries, with descriptions next to it that comes with a brief background story of the artist and the medium that is used in the piece. It is properly set up for the people to see and understand, for the artists and non-artists, regardless of the level of their creativity and activity in the art world, this work is displayed for them to digest. On the other hand, graffiti is for the other graffiti artists or as they call themselves ‘writers’ to understand their message and communicate with each other, and for the public to respect them. But the public has a different understanding to their art, as it was not meant for them to understand it. The public are so used to the ‘legal’ form of art, that gets displayed and sold and explained, the kind that can easily be associated with business. Graffiti is a culture that cannot be displayed like in many ways, like fine art. It is more of a language that cannot be understood by just observations and readings and cannot be looked at from the public’s perspective; because all they see is a violation of public property. Graffiti is not licensed so it can’t be compared to public artwork. That’s what keeps its meaning and essence in the art society.
In the movie Style Wars, we see the first generation of graffiti ‘writers’ and graffiti’s first form that’ve been shared with the public that didn’t have a good reaction to it. The 80s were the graffiti’s birth and the writers’ spring. They started spreading their word to the public and then more writers showed up fighting for their marking and it turned into a war between the writers and not between them and the public. Even though the public authorities were having a battle of their own against the writers, they weren’t much aware of the importance of their marking against other writers on the street.