Thierry Guetta, or as he more commonly referred to as Mr. Brainwash, is a French native who brought his art stylings to rest within the art community of Los Angeles. Having drawn comparisons to street art legends such as Shepard Fairey and the elusive Banksy, Mr. Brainwash has come into his over the years after having exploded onto the art scene in the early 2000s.
Though now renowned across the world and sought after by both celebrities and art connoisseurs alike, Guetta’s career in the art world did not begin with a paintbrush or spray can but oddly enough an old video camera. MBW, as his pseudonym is often abbreviated, began his immersion into the art world by following his cousin and fellow street artist, Invader, on midnight runs around the city installing the unique space invader themed art pieces famous of Invader’s style. The filming exhibitions began to take on a life of their own as MBW set his sights on documenting the mysterious Banksy.
Ever wary of being shown on film and famous for hiding his true identity, Banksy would play a large influence on the eventual pieces MBW would create. It was Banksy who would become the focus of what is arguably MBW’s first piece, the film Exit Through the Gift Shop. The guerilla-style documentary was a collection of interviews with the famous artist, giving the world its first glimpse at the man who would make the world his canvas.
After The Exit
Once the film was released, MBW’s demand within the art world took off at an unprecedented rate. Soon shows in London, collaborations with Madonna, and fashion debuts became the normal occurrence for the once unknown artist. His fame fueled even further by rumors that the entire career and even perhaps the persona of MBW were merely another prank orchestrated by Banksy. A fact that has never been refuted by Guetta himself, adding further to the value of his commissioned pieces as well personal showings.
MBW and Banksy
The connections between MBW and Banksy go rather deeper than simple art influence, the pair have had a unique relationship since the beginning of MBW’s career, which may have begun from an off-hand comment made by Banksy to Guetta during one conversation. Some have even speculated that MBW is just an extension of Banksy himself, with some going as far as to say he is the artist in fact. Guetta has never shied away from the connection, even calling himself at times the greatest artwork ever accomplished by Banksy.
Regardless of theories or speculations, one fact remains quite evident, the art produced by MBW has given the world both unique stand-alone pieces and brought the world a better glimpse of the often overlooked street art community.