Thierry Guetta, better known as Mr. Brainwash or simply MBW, is a French LA based street artist steeped in the kind of post-millennium celebrity that has become the hallmark of the current age. Rocketing to stardom after his introduction to the world via the premiere of Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop, Mr. Brainwash quickly rivaled the aforementioned street-art-to-high-art royalty in name recognition and market value.
MBW’s work is maximalist in the extreme, often showcasing in sprawling, self-funded and unsanctioned exhibitions in museum sized unconventional spaces, and among the high points of the international art fair circuit. His work is as fundamentally American as his business strategy — populist, irreverent, and DIY, riffing on the aesthetics of social media, memeology, sampling, appropriation, and daisy-chain cultural output. Rather than stalely critiquing this new brand of culture, Mr. Brainwash celebrates it a markedly positive artistic style full of high saturation color and explosive gestural mark, separating himself from many of his more critically minded peers.
His work is therefore appropriately layered, conceptually and physically, using all mediums available, but with particular gusto when such materials reflect the frenetic energy of urban living. Characters harvested from popular culture are re-cast as avatars of an aggressive optimism and brash positivity. Neon takes center stage in some of the most exciting MBW creations and is perhaps the clearest embodiment of the coursing, raw, of-the-moment energy which without doubt is the continual subject, perhaps even obsession of Mr. Brainwash’s practice. Adjacent to that central theme are visual contemplations of the power of branding, of spectacle, and of hype, all wrought in his unguarded, unpretentious, and celebratory artistic style, yelling at all times the unflinching title of so many of his exhibitions “Life is Beautiful.”
Hamilton-Selway Fine Art is thrilled to present a selection of these delightfully afformational works, and to guide collectors in the procurial of one of the most recognized artists today bridging the divide between the street and the white walls of the gallery. H-S is pleased to be part of Mr. Brainwash’s continual injection of a much needed dose of vivacity into the sterility of the stuffy side of the contemporary art world.