Mr Brainwash Exit Through The Pissoir

Thierry Guetta Exhibition vandalises London’s West End

The first British solo exhibition by the infamous Mr Brainwash opens this week at London’s Opera Gallery in New Bond Street. Brainwash also known as Thierry Guetta is inflicting 30 of his latest ‘works’ on the British public. If you have somehow not absorbed who Mr Brainwash is, go and get the DVD of “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, the Oscar nominated documentary by Banksy. It is a film about how Mr Brainwash ingratiated himself into the public conscience and unfortunately decided to paint.

Guetta is a Frenchman who moved to Los Angeles in the 1980s. His hobby was to hang around filming the clandestine world of street art. Through his contacts with street artists including Space Invader, from Paris, and Shepard Fairey from RISD, (the one who designed the Obama “Hope” poster, after confiscating the original AP image), he was introduced to Banksy. Thierry’s claim to fame was this chance meeting with the Bristol born artist. He filmed him and shared his stories and footage of other street artists with him. Banksy offered to turn Guetta’s video footage, of the rise of street art in California, into a documentary, but Guetta was completely inept, so Banksy took over the project, encouraging Guetta to become an artist instead. This was a mistake and a monster was created instead.

Thierry is not really an artist as such, but a master of pastiche. His work resembles other artists work and he has no real identity of its own. If he were in a band it would be like sampling other peoples records and assembling them into a new track. His work is executed in a studio factory with a team of young art students creating much of the physical work. Like Hirst and Koons Guetta’s work is reasonably well crafted but it still lacks the soul of a true artist. Many of his ideas come from art books. Warhol is his hero and Banksy his mentor. It is a shame that he lacks the drive and originality to go beyond the clichés of this genre. The show runs 6th Oct to 31st Oct 2011 OPERA GALLERY LONDON 134 New Bond Street.


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