Banksy promo van covered in graffiti

A van promoting Banksy's movie, Exit Through the Gift Shop, was grievously tagged in Japan. BB Reader Bender points out: "And yet what it's promoting is still perfectly visible. What thoughtful taggers!" [Timeout]


  1. That is some awesome street art, there!

    It would just be ugly vandalism without the Banksy connection, though. All art is contextual.

  2. I call shenanigans. Really, Banksy’s van getting tagged with only colors that coordinate with the colors already on the van, and not obscuring the important text at all?

  3. Fans of the American craze of rap singing sometimes paint their names on things, maybe it was one of them? Either way Banky’s going to be fuming at the adverse publicity.

  4. All that was done while the driver was on his lunch hour? Must be a pretty sketchy neighborhood. :)

    1. The conspiracy angle and ‘done on purpose’ angle is in full swing, so no need to comment there (it’s apparent to me).

      Jake0748 – Shibuya is crowded and youthful. It’s not a slum at all, but if there were taggers and hip hopsters, that’s where they would be. All the good head shops are in Shibuya.

  5. Between this post and the 3D paper horse advert post, two corporations have managed to get their message across here today. :)

    1. “Between this post and the 3D paper horse advert post, two corporations have managed to get their message across here today. :)”

      I didn’t even care to see what the paper horses were advertising. Marketing fail.

  6. So were the taggers all lined up? Also, they only used read and black paint – how thoughtful! Seems staged.

  7. Definitely “fan mail” or staged. It’s not like Shibuya-ites go around tagging random vehicles. They get a few bridge underpasses and the odd blank wall, typically.

  8. I’ve heard mixed things about Exit Through the Gift Shop, like that it’s supposed to be independent, but that it was heavily budgeted and promoted to look independent, and that it’s a demonstration of how you can force your movie’s success if you just put enough money into it. If that’s true, I can’t help but feel a little cynical about this. I’ve gained the impression that this movie wants to trick me into thinking I like it.

    1. It’s definitely worth seeing, regardless of any questions to the making of. I don’t know about being tricked into liking it but it definitely tricks the viewer near the end elevates it from a simple documentary into another Banksy original.

  9. “Yo Dawg, we heard you liked tagging, so we tagged your van that was all about tagging.”

  10. Stuntity stunt. Car tagged up in brought daylight Shibuya? On the bizarro world on the other side of the sun maybe.

  11. “I’ve gained the impression that this movie wants to trick me into thinking I like it.”
    How can a movie trick you into liking it? It’s a movie, you like it or you don’t like it or you’re ambivalent about it. The movie isn’t feeding you psychotropic drugs and whispering sweet nothings in your ears, fer Christ’s sake!
    FWIW, I managed to see ‘Exit…’ at a multiscreen in Bristol, Banksy’s home city, by accident, when the film I went to see was sold out. I hadn’t realised it was being shown, and it was only on for the one week, so I was really chuffed to catch it. Really excellent film, it does leave you wondering about the subject of the film, and whether he’s legit, or if the whole thing is a set-up designed to poke fun at the whole idea of the media driven celebrity artist. As an update about Banksy, it was on the local BBC news that an early Banksy
    work, a gorilla wearing a pink mask, on the end wall of a building has just been whitewashed over by the new owners, a Muslim community group, apparently unaware of it’s significance and value. Ooooops.

  12. And, unless my old eyes are failing me, not a single bit of kana or kanji anywhere on the thing.

    1. I noticed the lack of any kana also. The graffiti I see around Tokyo is usually 1/3rd ABCs and 2/3rds kana/kanji. This was done by the promo people.

  13. Staged.

    I lived in Shubya for several years. There is virtually no vandalism there, absolutely nothing approaching the extend of what is shown here, and absolutely not done in broad daylight.

    And think about it…. It’s a Banksy movie after all. how else would you decorate a promotional van.

  14. As a long-term resident of Tokyo and a person who pays attention to these kinds of things, all of the names on the van are instantly recognizable. While it may have in fact been staged, whoever staged it knew real writers to get it done, writers whose names can be found literally all over the Kanto region.

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