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The Boston Globe


Television Review

In street faces, the power and limits of the image

John Lanchester’s recent novel, “Capital,” includes a street artist and provocateur who seems to be based on the artist known as Banksy. “Smitty,” as he is called in the novel, knows the value of everything, and, like Banksy, he’s smart enough to know that his most valuable commodity is his anonymity.

The new HBO documentary “Inside Out: The People’s Art Project” is about a French street artist who similarly guards his anonymity. He is known as “JR” (it sounds slightly cooler in French) and he is only ever seen in dark glasses and a fedora.

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