In Defense of Mr. Brainwash

Thierry "Mr. Brainwash" Guetta
Mr. Brainwash invaded South Beach Wednesday for his second annual "Under Construction" Basel beach bash. The night romped. The two story 25,000-square-foot gallery was filled with MBW's latest works, as well as plenty of vodka, an appearance by the Art Angel, and as many free MBW posters as you could carry. It was more fun than the Basel Vernissage, Bass Museum after party, and the shindigs at the Delano, Raleigh, and Soho House combined.

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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so funny hearing morons talk about Warhol in a positive light, yet bash MBW.....Warhol's Factory was a warehouse full of people who did all of his work, yet since he was 'hip', people love him. this is what i say.....spend some time around MBW, realize what that man is really about, + you'll never have another negative thing to say about him, ever again. go talk to the charities he donates his time/money to. what's even funnier.....these self-righteous fucks who hate on MBW, only do so because of a movie they very much mis-interpreted anyways, which means they have no sense of originality themselves. regardless of what people think, i happen to love MBW's work, because my eyes tell me they like them, not because of 'street cred' or 'hipness'. that's what art is about. if you like it, good. if you don't, on to the next one, but you're nobody to trash somebody without truly knowing who they are + what they represent.


It's a wonderfuly written article. Wether or not he is perceived as "real" artist is all up the eyes of the beholder.... regardless of whatever this guy represents, its the age old battle most artists go through. Do you make it big or not. What do you give up, your cred as an artist or  the apt you're about to get kicked out of? Once you go mainstraim and hit it big, your no longer considered a legit artist. However, how long must you starve before making a buck of your work ? I don't know enough about this guy to make a real opinion about him, but I feel the it all boils down to what i just said..


It will be interesting to see, in days to come, what the response from artists in Los Angeles (and all around the globe for that matter) is once they discover how MBW hustled them with his Art Show 2011 con job.

J.J. Colagrande
J.J. Colagrande

for the record, i'm personally conflicted about this dude . . ..


he isnt in it to talk to whomever and being awesome for nothing he wants fame he wants to be famous. the guy is a clown and the fact that you dont care just makes u part of the joke. warhol sold pieces and scoffed that people would actually buy his bullshit. MBW is the same thing, only difference is that Warhol was a talented and a brilliant artist whereas MBW is just soem goof who has fallen into a bullshit career. its fun to have the parties not saying to stop or anything, just dont say hes a real artist. Because i think its pretty apparent that hes not.


Right, because as long as you're cashing in, it doesn't matter what you're doing and that's the final argument. And fawning blogs like this are only propping him up further. Still, we can all just hope his "career" is an epic art world troll, in which case joke is on all these bloggers and Mr. Brainwash is actually an Andy Kaufman-esque genius.

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