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Mr Brainwash Artist Biography

Mr Brainwash is the moniker of eccentric French filmmaker Thierry Guetta. After years filming the likes of Banksy and Shepard Fairey, he has put down the camera and taken up the spray-can and become one of California's most prolific street artists. A maverick of the art world, Mr Brainwash has a trademark positive message and playful spirit that has taken the world by storm.


Mr. Brainwash was born in Garges-lès-Gonesse, Paris, France, but relocated to Los Angeles with his father and several siblings when he was 15, after his mother passed away. The artist attended Fairfax High school for about a year, but later dropped out and began to organize events around Hollywood. Mr. Brainwash later delved into business and sold vintage clothes in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, making substantial money in the process. His interest in graffiti was spurred by a visit to France in 1999, where he learned that his cousin was the infamous street 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, whose OBEY posters appear in many cities across the globe, and the mysterious Zevs. At that time, there were no plans to release the videos documenting the graffiti artists at work.


In June 2008, Mr Brainwash made his art show debut with one of Los Angeles' most memorable solo exhibitions; Life is Beautiful, held at the historic CBS Studios on Sunset Boulevard. It featured over 100 works, including a 20-foot robot made of old televisions, a life-size recreation of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and a pyramid made from 20,000 books, and had fans queuing round the block to get in on its opening night. Mr. Brainwash's work continued to garner recognition from art collectors and street-art enthusiasts alike.

In 2009, Mr. Brainwash met with Banksy and assisted him in launching his Los Angeles show Barely Legal, which was attended by notable celebrities and art collectors. The two artists afterwards decided to make a documentary detailing life in the secretive graffiti art scene. The documentary would include shots of Invader taken by Banksy and Mr. Brainwash himself. It was the introduction to Banksy that helped him make the transition from a peeper of street art into a participant. He graduated from a few hand drawn stickers to making giant sized paste-ups, and his iconic imagery is now seen on the streets of New York and Los Angeles.


The result was the Oscar-nominated documentary Exit through the Gift Shop, which debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film depicts the meteoric rise of Mr. Brainwash in the street art scene, with some of his works, such as the portrait of Jim Morrison, selling for US$100,000, and his Charlie Chaplin painting estimated to be worth between $50,000 and 70,000. Following the success of the film, Mr. Brainwash gained massive following with his exhibitions such as the one held at the Opera Gallery, London, selling out within two days. Mr. Brainwash has brought his street art to six continents and attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to his massive, multi-story warehouse solo art shows. He has created cover artwork and album campaigns for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Rick Ross, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, and others. He starred and was the subject of Banksy's 2010's Academy Award nominated film "Exit Through The Gift Shop."


His art uses icons of consumer culture and celebrity and mixes them with early pop art images to create his own pop art and graffiti hybrid. His work hinges on the idea that anything is possible in his practice: “Art has no walls. Anybody can be an artist,” he said. “Art has no rules. There’s no manual.”


More art prints from Mr Brainwash

Heinz Ketchup Spray By Mr Brainwash
£6,000.00
Legend - Blue By Mr Brainwash
£7,000.00
Polaroid By Mr Brainwash
£6,000.00
Never Never Give Up By Mr Brainwash
£6,000.00
Tomato Spray By Mr Brainwash
£8,000.00
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