Mr. Brainwash or MBW is the moniker of eccentric French filmmaker Thierry Guetta. After years filming the likes of Bansky and Obey he has put down the camera and taken up the spay-can and become one of California’s most prolific street artists.
MBW 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.
MBW’s first solo show “Life is Beautiful” in LA, June 2008 featured over 100 works in a 15,000ft sq TV studio and had fans queuing round the block to get in on its opening night. He referenced artists such as Duchamp, Jackson Pollock and Robert Indian in his works, but it is 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