Mr. Brainwash

The worldwide established  French street artist and videographer known for his large-scale installations and prints of celebrities like Madonna, Kate Moss, and Marilyn Monroe shows at Rarity Gallery his exclusive large scale original Pop Culture Street Art works.

 

His practice of subverting cultural iconography and appropriation borrows from Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Bansky. MBW is best known for his role in Banksy’s documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010), which features Mr. Brainwash’s rise to success in the street art scene. “Banksy captured me becoming an artist,” Mr. Brainwash has said. “In the end, I became his biggest work of art.”

 

Born Thierry Guetta on November 11, 1966 in Garges-lès-Gonesse, France, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 15, where he attended high school before dropping out. The artist later ran a successful vintage clothing store in the city. His interest in street art was spurred by a visit to France in 1999, where he learned that his cousin was the famed graffiti artist Space Invader. Having developed a knack for filming, Mr. Brainwash started to record the nightly escapades of Invader and other street artists, such as Shepard Fairey. In 2013, he was included in the exhibition “Art Wars” at Saatchi Gallery in London.

 

A number of critics have observed that his works strongly emulate the styles and concepts of Banksy, and have speculated that Guetta is an elaborate prank staged by Banksy, who may have created the works himself. Banksy insists on his official website, however, that Exit Through the Gift Shop is authentic and that Guetta is not part of a prank. 

 

His work sold for five-figure sums at his self-financed debut exhibit Life is Beautiful, due, it is thought,to a mixture of an overheated and hyped street art market and – according to Banksy and Shepard Fairey as seen in Exit – his misuse of endorsements from Banksy and Fairey. The exhibit was held in Los Angeles, California, on June 18, 2008, and was a popular and critical successIn 2009, Madonna paid Guetta to design the cover art for her Celebration album.

 

Guetta's uniformly subversive style fuses historic pop imagery and contemporary cultural iconography to create his version of a pop–graffiti art hybrid first popularised by other street artists. Working primarily with layers of screenprint and stenciled images, his compositions are emblematic of a graffiti wall inundated with 20th century iconography. 

He is both sly and playful in his juxtaposition of the cultural idols of the past (Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe) with the icons of today (Kate Moss, Madonna). The vibrant palette and imitation of pop artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring add a puckish wink.

 

To add to his intentionally derivative persona, Guetta uses a special signature and authentication on all of his artworks. All unique MBW artworks have his mantra "Life is Beautiful", his thumbprint, hand-signature, and assigned dollar bill number sequence.

 

"Chaplin" 2016

Corrugated Metal & Street Signs

 

"Mickey & Minnie" 2017

198 x 198 cm, Stencil and Mixed Media on Canvas