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      Mr. Brainwash Beautiful Girl at the Shop Window Frank Fluegel Galerie
      01.10.2022 / Mr. Brainwash
      The artist Mr. Brainwash, street art star and documentary filmmaker.
      Mr. Brainwash, born Thierry Guetta in 1966 in Garges-lès-Gonesse near Paris, France, has lived in Los Angeles, USA, since the age of 15. He made his breakthrough in 2010 with the Oscar-nominated documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop." In a continuation of Pop Art, Mr. Brainwash's work draws on the style and motifs of artists such as Andy Warhol.

      In his documentary “Exit through the Giftshop”, Mr. Brainwash accompanied his friend and street art legend Banksy at work. Through him, he got into the street art scene and began creating art himself. Mr. Brainwash, however, unlike Banksy, revealed his identity and quickly rose to superstardom in the street art scene. The exhibitions of Thierry Guetta, Mr. Brainwash’s real name, became crowd pullers, Madonna commissioned him to design the album cover “Celebration”.

      Thierry Guetta was born in 1966 in Garges-les-Gonesse in France, a small, impoverished suburb about half an hour outside Paris. As the youngest of five children, he and his siblings did not have much money or many material possessions, but Thierry found wealth and contentment in the love of his family. At the age of nine, the unexpected death of his mother changed his outlook on life – but not for the worse. Instead, it forced Thierry, his siblings and his father to set out together to improve their circumstances. Eventually, they found their way to America, and the City of Angels became Thierry’s new home. Instead of chasing dreams of fame and fortune, the Guetta family simply sought a fresh start.

      At the age of 15, Thierry could barely speak English and had a hard time at school. However, he seemed to excel in all other subjects. Thierry discovered that his zest for life was a peculiarity among the people of Los Angeles, a breath of fresh air in the midst of cynicism, vanity and despair. With this self-confidence, Thierry tried his hand at the Hollywood nightclub scene. With success. Then he ventured into vintage retail. Again with success. His obvious sixth sense for what was “cool” in Hollywood made him a considerable fortune, something he never had as a child. He later married and had a son. A seemingly happy ending, but that was only the beginning of Thierry’s story. Thierry’s alter ego, Mr. Brainwash, was soon to make his debut.

      Mr. Brainwash Window at the current Art Show
      Mr. Brainwash Shop Window at the current Art Show in Kitzbuehel.

      The loss of his mother left a gap that Thierry was unable to fill until the birth of his son. To be on the safe side and capture every single precious moment, Thierry recorded everything on video. Not “everything”, as most doting parents film all the big moments in their child’s life. Thierry filmed everything that was possible. Thousands and thousands of hours of footage. His arm became a real tripod, and soon all his experiences existed only through the viewfinder of his camcorder.

      “Life is many things,” Mr. Brainwash later explained, “from beautiful to difficult and complicated to funny and surprising, and everything in between.” By a happy twist of fate, Thierry traveled to Paris to visit his cousin – a street artist known as Space Invader. Thierry was infatuated with this artistic lifestyle and quickly focused his camera on Space Invader’s extraordinary work. Slowly but surely, the seed of Mr. Brainwash began to grow.

      Thierry Guetta was hooked. He eagerly sought out other street artists to film, including Shepard Fairey, Zevs and the elusive, infamous Banksy. What these artists didn’t know was that Thierry was not only their documentary filmmaker, but also their student. Later, Thierry Guetta imitated everything he captured and adapted it to his own vision, combining the obscurity of street art with famous images of popular culture and historical figures. With the new and with the old.

      Thierry was encouraged by Banksy to host his own art exhibition and eventually Mr. Brainwash was born. Thierry Guetta swapped his camera for a paintbrush and focused entirely on the task ahead of him – he wanted to become a true artist. This journey forms the plot of the aforementioned, award-winning documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop.

      The film was made almost by chance. Thierry had more than 30,000 hours of footage of all the street artists involved. He was given access to these artists only with the promise that he would make a movie that would tell their story to the world. Unbeknownst to them, Thierry had no idea how he was going to complete this film, and shooting the footage was really all he intended to do. Banksy eventually stepped in and suggested focusing the film on Thierry’s own story – from entrepreneur to obsessive videographer and aspiring artist. And with that advice, Thierry immediately stepped into the spotlight.

      The artist Mr. Brainwash – Work

      Mr. Brainwash’s hyper-visual explosion in the art world was unprecedented. His first exhibition in Los Angeles in 2008, entitled “Life is Beautiful”, proved that he is an artist with strong intentions and vision. He achieved more success with a single exhibition than most artists achieve in their entire career.

      When his film Exit Through the Gift Shop premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010, Mr. Brainwash had already achieved fame. The documentary won several awards and even received a nomination for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards. In view of this fame, it was only a matter of time before stars approached Thierry for commissions. Michael Jackson, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rick Ross, KYGO and even Madonna (to name but a few) asked to buy his art or have original album covers designed by him. In 2014, Mr. Brainwash designed a poster for Michael Jackson’s posthumous album Xscape. This completed a memorable circle for Thierry, as Jackson was one of the first people to buy an original work by Mr. Brainwash.

      Mr. Brainwash has worked with Mercedes-Benz, Coca-Cola, Hublot, Ray-Ban, Showtime’s Billions and Shameless, STXfilms’ Molly’s Game, Stan Lee and Marvel, international soccer icon Pelé, former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Pope. He is currently the only street artist whose work appears on screen, television, music, fashion, sports, politics and religion.

      Using spray cans, stencils, stencil graffiti, as well as screen prints and pop culture motifs analogous to Andy Warhol, the artist has brought urban art from the street into the living room and merged both art movements. The surprising works of Mr. Brainwash mix bright colors in any combination with sometimes controversial content. He uses a variety of techniques such as printmaking, mixed media with spray paint, painting and collage techniques and enriches his images with both ironic statements and positive messages in text form. Mr. Brainwash now lives and works in Los Angeles, where his first art museum opened in Beverly Hills (465 N. Beverly Drive) in 2022.


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      Mr. Brainwash new Works. FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE, 2022

      He uses recurring main motifs that are sprayed on with stencils such as a chimpanzee on a Coca Cola crate with the words “Follow Your Dreams” at the artwork “Everyday Life” or as a celebrity Kate Moss at the artwork called “Cover Girl” analogous to Andy Warhol’s Marilyn as a pop icon. Albert Einstein appears with a board “Love is the Answer” as well as Mickey Mouse or Banksy Thrower, a homage to his idol. The works are all unique pieces.

      Mr. Brainwash continues to be one of the most prolific artists working today, spreading his infectious positivity all over the world, from New York City to Miami, London, Cape Town and Nuremberg. Most recently, Mr. Brainwash was commissioned by Warner Bros. to create a pop-up advertising campaign for the release of Space Jam: A New Legacy, which included life-size statues of LeBron James and Bugs Bunny. In 2023, the completely new motif “Beautiful Girl” appeared for the first time, representing an evolution of the famous Balloon Girl.

      Art cannot be criticized because every mistake is a new creation.

      Mr. Brainwash

      FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE represents the artist Mr. Brainwash since 2012 in German-speaking countries and was the first gallery in Germany to present his unique pieces and originals. The gallery receives the artworks directly from the artist’s studio in USA. An edition exclusively available only at FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE entitled “Stay Strong Germany” on the occasion of the COVID-19 pandemic underlines the close and long-standing collaboration. His works were also shown for the first time at FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE in Kitzbuehel, Austria in 2018.


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      Mr. Brainwash im Interview. Los Angeles Times, 2010

      Mr. Brainwash and Banksy – inextricably linked.

      In an interview with the British Standard, April 2018, Mr. Brainwash is very positive about his friend and colleague Banksy: “He was a good part of my life, and I was a good part of his life. We are forever connected- when you mention Brainwash, you also talk about Banksy.” Not wanting to be free of it, the artist describes Banksy as a great person. The meeting with him brought a lot of positive things, says Brainwash.

      The two works “Balloon Girl” and “Banksy Thrower” refer to motifs by Banksy.

      Mr. Brainwash sees himself as someone who, like a child, is still at the beginning, always trying new things. At the same time, he argues that art shouldn’t be so serious and sees it as a way for everyone to express themselves freely. Art, Brainwash says, has no instruction manual that tells you what not to do. Above all, his works are meant to be fun, and the artist achieves this in a playful way with bright colors, witty wordplay and positive messages.

      In 2020, it was announced that Mr. Brainwash will open a museum in Los Angeles. The vacant Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, designed by architect Richard Meier in 1996, was transformed into a space for his own work and that of other artists. In the former Museum of Television & Radio on Beverly Drive in LA, the Mr. Brainwash Art Museum opened in December 2022.

      French artist Thierry Guetta, a.k.a. Mr. Brainwash, who became known for his appearance in Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010), is alsoe getting his own documentary. The feature-length film comes from OBB Pictures and is directed by Michael D. Ratner, who also directed a feature on Justin Bieber.
      The film, “Mr. Brainwash,” will use never-before-seen archival footage to document Thierry Guetta’s journey from obscurity to worldwide street art phenomenon. The documentary will feature interviews with Banksy and other major figures in the street art scene, and will show an insight into Thierry Guetta’s life and his collaborations with Madonna, Michael Jackson, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Pope. The film also explores the roots of Mr. Brainwash’s identity and questions our fascination with art, talent, and ubiquity while serving as a critique of modern art.

      Other famous works of the artist Mr. Brainwash are:

      Vita / Mr. Brainwash

      • 1966 Born Thierry Guetta in France.
      • 2008 first exhibition “Life is Beautiful” in Los Angeles with more than 50,000 visitors.
      • 2009 Madonna commissioned Mr. Brainwash to design the album cover “Celebration”.
      • 2010 breakthrough: Mr. Brainwash became internationally known through the award-winning and Oscar-nominated documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop”.
      • 2010 second exhibition “Life Is Beautiful: Icons” in New York on 1,400 m2 which was sold out after a few days.
      • 2010 art spectacle “Under Construction” on an empty retail space in South Beach for Art Basel Miami
      • 2020 Mr. Brainwash plans to temporarily transform the former Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, designed by architect Richard Meier in 1996, into his own museum.
      • 2022 The Mr. Brainwash Museum opened on Beverly Drive in Los Angeles on December 18th.
      • Lives and works today in Los Angeles, California

      Solo Shows/ Mr. Brainwash

      • 2008 Life is Beautiful, former CBS Studios, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
      • Fader Fort, New York, NY
      • 2009 Worlds on Fire, Pacific Electric Lofts’ Building, Los Angeles, CA
      • 2010 ICONS: Part One, Meat Packing District, New York, NY (solo)
      • 2010 Under Construction, Miami Art Basel
      • 2011 Mr. Brainwash – Life Is Beautiful: Untitled. Art Basel, Miami, USA
      • 2012 Mr. Brainwash – London Olympic Games, London (England)
      • 2013 Mr. Brainwash (from the gallery collection) – 34FineArt, Cape Town
      • 2013 Bambi Street Artist meets Mr. Brainwash – GALERIE FRANK FLUEGEL, Nuremberg, Germany
      • 2014 Mr. Brainwash Solo Show – GALERIE FRANK FLUEGEL, Nuremberg, Germany
      • 2016 Life is Beautiful, Seoul, South Korea
      • 2017 Mr. Brainwash New Artworks – GALERIE FRANK FLUEGEL, Nuremberg, Germany
      • 2018 Mr. Brainwash meets Kitzbuehel – GALERIE FRANK FLUEGEL, Kitzbuehel
      • 2019 Mr. Brainwash meets Tyrol – GALERIE FRANK FLUEGEL, Kitzbuehel
      • 2022 Mr. Brainwash works on Wood, Brick and Corrugated Metal.
      • 2023/2024 Art in the alps – Mr. Brainwash at Schloss Lebenberg in Kitzbuehel/Austria

      About the author:

      Frank Fluegel specializes in high-quality originals of Pop Art, Street Art as well as Contemporary Art. Since 1999 he runs the FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE with locations in Nuremberg, Germany and the famous ski-resort Kitzbuehel, Austria.


      01.10.2022 / Frank Flügel

      Mr. Brainwash /