In Defense of Mr. Brainwash
|Thierry "Mr. Brainwash" Guetta|
If you don't know anything about art, you would've said, "WTF!? look at the Storm Troopers, Mr. Potato Head and colorful prints!" But it's more likely that you know exactly who Mr. Brainwash is -- he's that guy you love to hate.
It's so easy to marginalize the artist, a French native and current Los Angelite. He rose to glory on the coattails of Banksy, Shephard Fairey and his cousin, Invader. He's the Britto of street art. His work lacks substance, originality, and irony. It's manufactured like the Fed prints money, in abundance and recklessly. He hires assistants and graphic designers to execute his ideas, which are stolen from others. His work illicits no feeling. It's not deep.
MBW is more than capable, outlandishly fun, and dare it be said -- a great artist! His work is unique and extremely ironic. His social commentary is as relevant as anyone else in the street art movement. Furthermore, he's been around since the beginning. The man is hardly an outsider. MBW takes chances and has put himself on the line more than anyone. He's a brilliant marketer, a side of art begrudgingly as pervasive as the creation of art.
He does not hide his face or blur pixeled images of himself. On the contrary, he's a man amongst the people, hugging and posing for whoever wants to say hi! Have you ever seen, met or heard Shep Fairey? His personality is as dry as a tampon. On the contrary, MBW is fun, accessible, freewheeling and slightly manic, all a recipe for the enjoyment of art, rather than pretentiousness or stuffiness, which is all so often the case at openings.
Miami was first introduced to MBW during Scope 2008. He did the big Obama as Superman mural, the centerpiece of that Fair. He was also seen outside the Fair, yelling for people to take free posters, running around like a madman, talking to whomever, and just generally acting crazy. MBW returned last year, moving to the beach. Let's hope he comes back next year. His was a perfect party.
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