Sunday, February 20, 2011

Exit Through the Gift Shop: Mr. Brainwash

When I first heard that Banksy had a film coming out, I knew I wanted to see it. It didn't exactly happen right away, in fact I just watched it last night. Going into the film I had no idea what to expect. I figured it might be a documentary on Banksy's rise in popularity. What I didn't foresee was that it would be about my favorite street artist Mr. Brainwash. 

I had first become aware of Banksy and street art a few years ago, probably about 5 if I had to take a guess. It amazed me what these art rebels were doing. In the middle of the night they were putting artwork almost 30 or 40 ft high on the sides of buildings, billboards, anything that could be seen. The best part was that it was real artwork. It made you think, laugh, or shake your head in disapproval. I had never seen anything like it, yes you had graffiti but most of the time it was an eyesore or a memorial to someone you had never heard of. This was new and Banksy was by far the most well known.

One day while I was searching through some of Banksy's latest art placements, I came across a familiar image that had been re-created. It was of Alfred Hitchcock, who I am a huge fan of. He wore large aviators and on his clapboard were the words "Life is Beautiful." A really incredible message and image.
Immediately I had to find out who had created it. In my search I finally came across the artist, Mr. Brainwash. Since that day I have made sure to check the internet every month or so to see his latest works of art. His art is arguably the best example of pop art since Andy Warhol. Brainwash uses the same techniques of using public icons whether its a person, brand, or object and repeating it everywhere. However, he makes it his own adding touches of humor, such as Elvis with a toy gun instead of a guitar or Spock dressed like Marilyn Monroe. It's these touches that make his work so interesting.

I would highly recommend the film Exit Through the Gift Shop to anyone interested in finding and following their passions. It is a great back story into one of the most influential pop artists we have today. 
Here are a few of his pieces:
 And here is the man himself, pictured from an article in L'Uomo Vogue
 To purchase his artwork, visit his website

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