“Life is beautiful" by Mr. Brainwash.
Thierry Guetta, better known as Mr. Brainwash or simply MBW, is a French street artist living in Los Angeles, immersed in the kind of post-millennial celebrity that has become the hallmark of today's era. Arriving at the celebrity after his introduction to the world with the premiere of Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop, Mr. Brainwash quickly evoked the canons of street-art-to-high-art in terms of name recognition and market value.
MBW's work is maximalist to the extreme, often performing in sprawling, self-financed and unauthorized exhibitions in unconventional museum-sized spaces and among the highest points of the international art fair circuit. His work is as fundamentally American as his commercial strategy - populist, irreverent and do-it-yourself, mocking social media aesthetics, memeology, sampling, appropriation and mass cultural production. Rather than criticizing this new brand of culture, Mr. Brainwash celebrates it with a markedly positive artistic style, full of high saturation color and explosive gestural sign, separating himself from many of his more critical colleagues.
His work is therefore appropriately stratified, conceptually and physically, using all available means, but with particular taste when these materials reflect the frenetic energy of urban living.
Characters collected from popular culture are reworked as avatars of aggressive optimism and brazen positivity. Neon is at the heart of some of MBW's most exciting creations and is perhaps the clearest embodiment of the raw, courting energy of the moment, which is undoubtedly the continuous subject, perhaps even Mr. Brainwash's obsession with the practice.
Adjacent to this central theme are the visual contemplations of the power of branding, showbiz and hype, all realized in his unattended, unpretentious and celebratory artistic style, screaming at all times the inflexible title of many of his exhibitions "Life is Beautiful".
Interesting Facts About Mr. Brainwash.
1. The origins.
Thierry Guetta, his real name, was born in France in Garges-lès-Gonesse and moved with his family to Los Angeles at the age of 15. He owned a vintage shop. Before becoming one of the most famous street artists in the world, Thierry Guetta is a "normal" person. On one of his many trips to France in 1999, Thierry learned of his cousin's true identity. He hides behind the well-known street-artist Space Invader. After this discovery, young Guetta began to become passionate about the world of Street-Art. He enters this current under the pseudonym of Mr Brainwash. What does Mr Brainwash mean? It means "brainwash".
2. From obsession with the camera to obsession with street art.
Mr Brainwash enters the world of street art through his obsession with the camera. Thierry Guetta has been filming everything since he was a child. Thanks to this obsession, Thierry starts following his cousin Invader through the streets, filming him. Soon, Brainwash finds himself filming all the most famous street art artists in the world. That's how Mr Brainwash decided to invest in art and soon became one of the most talented stretch artists.
3. Street art in Los Angeles in 2008.
In Los Angeles Mr. Brainwash discovered what street art is. In 2008 he met Obey (Shepard Fairey), Banksy, Space Invader, some of the most important street artists of the moment. Thierry Guetta, in order to create his colourful paintings in full Pop Art style, makes the main ingredients of Street Art his own. He uses the stencil and the spray can technique, draws on the two great masters of Pop Art like Warhol and Haring and fills his paintings with writings. The paintings with Life is Beautiful, Love is The Answer and Follow your dreams are an example.
4. The first solo exhibition and the motto: Life Is Beautiful.
Life is Beautiful Thierry Guetta uses his life savings, mortgages his house and organizes his first solo exhibition called Life Is Beautiful. Street Art is an investment for the artist. The exhibition, organized on June 18, 2008 in Los Angeles in an abandoned warehouse, is a great success. His works with writings like "Life is Beautiful", "Love is The answer" "Follow your dreams" make his paintings pop and full of love. The works with Albert Einstein, the paintings with Charlie Chaplin conquer the public. Thierry Guetta's original paintings make people understand why to buy street art. His efforts are amply rewarded with over $1,000,000 dollars sold with his first solo exhibition, Life Is Beautiful. From this moment on, Mr. Brainwash's fame is on the rise and Thierry Guetta becomes one of the most respected street artists. Today everyone, from young people to collectors, is looking for where to buy his works.
5. The subjects that inspire Thierry Guetta.
Mr Brainwash, using the spray can technique and the stencil, makes his paintings colourful. For this reason the artist is very much loved by young people. Many decide to invest in art and decorate the walls of their homes with the works of Mr Brainwash.
His paintings are paintings of love and hope. One of the most popular and sought-after subjects is The Chimpanzee, who writes "Follow your dreams" with a spray can. Another source of inspiration is the brilliant Albert Einstein, who praises love with the sign "Love is the Answer". And again the comedian Charlie Chaplin and the couple of Mickey Mouse and Minnie tight in a loving embrace. Mr. Brainwash always includes references to Andy Warhol and Keith Haring in his unique paintings. There are many works in the background that feature Campbell's soups, the portrait of Marilyn Monroe and the stylized men of Keith Hatring. Life is Beautiful has also become one of Mr. Brainwash's most sought-after sculptures.
6. The painting techniques.
All Mr Brainwash's unique pieces are original paintings made on different media such as porous paper or canvas. Each work is defined Unique Piece thanks to the background that for each painting presents different colours and references to the world of Pop Art. Frequent are the references to the works of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. The painting with Albert Einstein, the work with Charlie Chaplin, the canvas with Mickey and Minnie: all the works of Mr. Brainwash are made by stencil. The use of spray cans and paint drips is also inevitable. The paintings of this artist are a unique example of contemporary art.
7. Banksy's first documentary film: "Exit through the gift shop".
Mr Brainwash, thanks to his cousin Space Invader, films all the most famous street art artists and even the great Banksy. With the promise to make a documentary film that presents Banksy to the world and answers the questions "What is street art?" and "Why invest in street art?", Thierry Guetta accompanies and films the artist as he makes his work. As time goes by, Thierry turns out to be a very bad director, but in return he turns out to be one of the most talented street artists in the world.
Banksy thus inherits his obsession with the camera. The artist shoots his first documentary film: Exit through the gift shop presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. The film, which sees Banksy as director and which has hit the box office all over the world, presents the biography of Thierry Guetta to the world.
The poster for the film Exit through the gift shop is still visible today in the exhibition A visual Protest. The art Of Banksy" at the MUDEC museum in Milan.
8. Who's behind the Banksy mask?
What is street art? Why buy street art? Is street art an investment? After these questions, there is another one that stands out on the contemporary art scene: is Mr Brainwash Banksy? For many people the answer is "yes, Mr Brainwash is Banksy". Not only is Banksy a friend of Thierry Guetta, but he even presents the artist's biography to the whole world. To do so, he becomes the director of the film "Exit through the gif shop". A truly unusual gesture in the world of contemporary art, full of envy and rivalry. Moreover Brainwash inserts in his paintings several images of Banksy. This is the case of the famous Flower Thrower and Girl with red ballon that also become the protagonists of Brainwah's unique paintings.
9. How much are your paintings worth?
The painting with Einstein, the work with Chaplin, the painting with Life is Beautiful: Mr Brainwash's original paintings have record prices. In a short time, his coloured paintings tripled their estimated price at auction (120,000 dollars).
Thierry Guetta's works are considered paintings for young people. These are suitable for those who want to furnish with works of art, but also for those who want to invest in art. Many have understood why to invest in street art, in fact the paintings online and in galleries should be sold out immediately.
Where to buy Mr Brainwash's paintings? You can buy paintings online and in the most exclusive contemporary art galleries. His works are also exhibited at the most important art fairs, such as Art Basel.
10. Mr Brainwash and POP music.
In addition to his obsession with the camera and street art, Mr Brainwash has always been interested in the world of music. While using the spray can technique he paints a painting with Chaplin and one with Einstein, Thierry Guetta works with the biggest celebrities in Pop music. In 2009, one of the world's most talented street artists created the cover of the album Celebration for the queen of Pop music, Madonna. In 2014, when his paintings with writings such as "Life is Beautiful" "Loveis The Answer" "Follow Your Dreams" are now sold out among those who want to furnish with works of art, Mr. Brainwash collaborates with Michael Jackson. In the same year, the artist also collaborates with DJ Avicii, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Rick Ross. Mr Brainwash is now one of the most respected street artists in the world. His paintings interest young people who decide to decorate with artworks, collectors who invest in art and even Pop singers.
Mr. Brainwash represents one of the best investments of Contemporary Art. In fact, he is reported by the art market as one of the most promising artists of this century.