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.
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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