I recognize Hollywood, and some other graffiti from Mr. Brainwash. But I did not know the history of the artist whose works I have admired, and sometimes photographed, in my wanderings around the world. We are talking about Mr. Brainwash himself – or Thierry Guetta, the artist behind the signature / brand. Inspire yourself, because life is beautiful and when you know the history behind it, Art is even more interesting!
The legend of Mr. Brainwash, also known as Thierry Guetta – a renowned French artist who lived in Los Angeles for 33 years with a real compulsion to film – emerged in 2010 in Banksy’s Exit Through A Gift Shop. Always aiming to shoot his films, Mr. Brainwash met some important names in Street Art and began to follow them to make a documentary. These years and years of filming have brought him closer to Shepard Fairey and Banksy and of course Art. From there it was a step to start producing his art. His big supporters were Banksy and Fairey. His style is defined when one begins to recognize his brand or Mr. Brainwash-Make-Over in famous works of art and pop icons. Basically a kind of Photoshop with Pop Art brushstrokes in the Andy Warhol style of being, but with the aesthetic of Banksy and the technique of Shepard Fairey. It seems simple, in a nutshell, but his works require knowledge, creativity, art, and convenience, which also makes us want to know and appreciate the original even more. He also created the cover of Madonna’s album, Celebration, casting more light on him. Guetta or Mr. Brainwash insists that his work is always inspired by love, with positive messages.
Life is Beautiful is his mantra. When asked why the name was chosen, he replied that it was around the 1990s that he realised: When you see TV, when you buy clothes, when you go to a bar or a club … how did you get there? How was that made? In fact, you unknowingly went through a real brainwash to the decision.
My messages in art are that life is beautiful, love is the answer and you should never, never, never give up.
Everything to me means this, I usually take any brand of some product and change the concept coming from this brainwashing. I would get the Nike, I would do the same soon, but I would write underneath: Just did it. Instead of Kids’R’Us I would put Boys Are Nuts. With all this I could not use my real name when I started with Street Art, so I came to this memory of brainwashing and decided to sign as Mr. Brainwash. At first I did not sign my work, but little by little, I started with MBW. Mr. Brainwash creates his own style by merging the images that are already part of a cultural iconography, historical and contemporary, with his pop graphics, as if it were a hybrid art. He loves making juxtapositions with past cultural idols such as Einstein, Charles Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe with current icons such as Kate Moss and Madonna. Sometimes with art you can speak louder! He says. I’m just telling people to live better, enjoy life more, respect everyone around them. I’m trying to do something beautiful and help people to be creative.
Written by Claudia de Andrada Tostes Vinhaes Grosso