Mr Brainwash biography in Biographies from the artzine on artrepublic.com
Mr Brainwash or MBW is the moniker of eccentric French filmmaker Thierry Guetta. After years filming the likes of Banksy and Obey 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 started documenting the street art of Obey back in 1999, and it was through Obey that he was introduced to Bansky. MBW has collected hours of footage often risking his own neck following artists at work. He is still filming today at events such as the massively successful Cans festival under Waterloo train station.
It was the introduction to Banksy that helped MBW make the transition from a voyeur 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.
In June 2008, Mr Brainwash made his art show debut with one of Los Angeles's 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. By 2009, Madonna approached him to design the cover of her greatest hits compilation entitled, Celebration. In addition to the CD album, Mr. Brainwash created 15 different covers for the accompanying vinyls, singles and DVD releases.
Mr Brainwash has referenced artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock and Robert Indiana in his works, but it is Andy Warhol who’s influence is strongest. MBW use icons of consumer culture and celebrity and mixes them with early pop art images to create his own pop art and graffiti hybrid.
“Mr. Brainwash is a force of nature, he’s a phenomenon. And I don’t mean that in a good way.” – Banksy
Considered as one of the most prolific and talked about artists of today, Mr. Brainwash is also the subject of Banksy's hugely successful 2010 documentary film 'Exit Through the Giftshop'. The film was originally to focus on Banksy, but the tables were turned when he challenged Mr Brainwash to create his own art show. The film charts the creation of the show, which became the LA blockbuster 'Life is Beautiful'.
Read our editorial featuring Mr Brainwash:
The Mr Brainwash Hall of Fame
A collection of Mr Brainwash’s finest works, now sold out and previously available from artrepublic.
Tomato Spray (Red) (Silkscreen with hand finishing Signed Limited Edition of 15) from the Saints and Sinners exhibition.
Kayne West (Signed Edition of 1 hand finished).
Spock Marilyn (Signed Limited Edition of 15, Silkscreen with Hand finishing on Paper).
Dali Spray Can (Signed Original Silkscreen on paper with hand finishing).
Queen with drips (Signed Edition of 1 hand finished).
Keith Richards (Original on Paper, Signed Silkscreen with Hand Finishing)