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  • Exit Through the Gift Shop

     Exit Through the Gift Shop is now available on dvd in the UK and Canada with a US release date of 12/14.  It has also been short listed as a possible Oscar nominated documentary for 2010.

    On a recent trip to Toronto (see articles – Travelogue: Toronto), I saw the film Exit Through the Gift Shop, billed as a documentary and “The world’s first Street Art Disaster Film”.

    Bansky, Exit Through the Gift Shop

    Bansky, Exit Through the Gift Shop

    My first thoughts after seeing the film was how unexpectedly entertaining it was.  It was also refreshing to see how simple, direct, cheap and effective Street Art is as an art form.   It’s a far cry from being simple graffiti or public vandalism.  It has become an effective vehicle for certain savvy artists to get their images – and message – directly in front of large, public audiences while circumventing the gallery/museum machinery.

    An obvious message  from the film is how highly commercialized the art world has become.  (The title is the dead-give-away referring to the signage used at museums exhibiting large block-buster art spectacles with souvenirs marketed to the public like Happy Meals.)  Art and money – an eternal necessary evil, I suppose.  Be that as it may, contemporary art as commodity turns out to be one of the major themes deftly skewered in this film.

    It is purportedly a documentary about the street art movement and purportedly made by premiere UK street artist, Banksy.  I say this because some believe this film is, in fact, another artistic prank perpetrated by Banksy on the unsuspecting public.  Whatever the truth is, it really doesn’t matter.  It’s informative, provocative and entertaining on many different levels.  So, if we are being “punked” by Banksy – that’s just fine with me.  I hope as many people see this film as possible.  It sheds light on the mysterious world of the street artist and also pokes fun at how dysfunctional art presentation and distribution actually can be.  It begins with Banksy sitting hooded and silhouetted as he explains how the film was started and how it’s trajectory changed dramatically along the way.  (continued in Film / Media)

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  • Coni Minneci: From A-Z to Home

    As fortune would have it, this is a timely post for Featured Artist, Coni Minneci.   There is a solo exhibition of her works,  A-Z: An Historical Survey of Women Artists which opens on April 30 at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning, NY.

    Coni Minneci, "Cindy Sherman", oil on panel, 2006, from A-Z An Historical Survey of Women Artists.  On view April 30-June 5 at the Houghton Gallery, 171 Cedar Arts Center, Corning, NY

    Coni Minneci, "Cindy Sherman", oil on panel, 2006, from A-Z An Historical Survey of Women Artists. On view April 30-June 5 at the Houghton Gallery, 171 Cedar Arts Center, Corning, NY

    This series of imaginative paintings has an underlying theme that playfully highlights women artists through the ages.

    This series will also be shown at Buffalo State College in the E.H. Butler Library from September 1- 24 (see details for both exhibits below).  To learn more about this series from the artist, take a look at our post, A to Z and Beyond, under the Interview section of this site.

    Another piece that we made with this artist can also be found in the same section about another series of her works entitled, Home. This piece entitled Home: A film with artist Coni Minneci and her dad, Dan, took a completely different and whimsical direction than previous interviews we’ve done.  Originally, it was meant to be a companion piece to complement an exhibition of digital photo-collages by the artist.  These works were created in response to her experience of transitioning her aging father from their family home into an assisted living center.  At Coni’s urging, we included footage of her dad, Dan, in his new home.  It became immediately clear why Coni wanted us to do this.  Her father, Dan, is a delight to be around.  And all of us who face the prospect of dealing with aging parents, should hope that it will be with someone who is as pleasant and positive as Dan.  DanI urge everyone to take a look at this piece so that you can see that while moving towards senior years can

    be a challenge, it can also be a time filled with enjoyment.  You only have to witness Dan’s warmth and operatic sense of humor to understand what I mean.





    Coni Minneci A – Z An Historical Survey of Women Artists
    April 30 – June 5, 2010     
    171 Cedar Arts Center, Houghton Gallery, 155 Cedar Street at East 1st St.Corning NY 14830   
    Opening Reception:  Friday, April 30,  5:30 – 7:30 pm    
    Gallery Talk with Artist: Saturday, June 5, 1:00 – 2:00 PM     
    Gallery Info: HoughtonGallery.org

    Coni Minneci A – Z An Historical Survey of Women Artists
    Sept. 1-24, 2010    
    Buffalo State College 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York, 14222     
    E.H. Butler Library, Circulation Gallery      
    Lecture: Sept. 21, 2010    
    info: coniminneci@gmail.com


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