10 Facts About Mr. Brainwash

reviewed by Erin Argun,
Date of publication9 Nov 2022
Last updated12 Aug 2023
With All My Love by Mr. BrainwashWith All My Love © Mr. Brainwash, 2019
Leah Mentzis

Leah Mentzis, Partnerships Manager[email protected]

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Mr Brainwash

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Mr. Brainwash is one of Contemporary art's most controversial & polarising figures. Catapulted to fame off the back of Banksy's film Exit Through The Gift Shop, Thierry Guetta has become an instantly recognisable figure on the international art scene. Here are some key facts about the artist:


Mr. Brainwash is friends with street art king, Banksy

Mr. Brainwash’s artistic evolution was mapped in Banksy’s Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. But there is in fact widespread speculation over whether Mr. Brainwash is just another stunt created by Banksy to poke fun at the absurdity of the art market.

Not Guilty by Mr. BrainwashNot Guilty © Mr. Brainwash 2019


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Mr. Brainwash has another name.

Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop documentary film starts with footage captured by Thierry Guetta, a ‘camera-happy Frenchman’ obsessed with filming everything, especially the graffiti artists of Los Angeles. Mr. Brainwash is born in the documentary when Banksy himself encourages Guetta to make his own artwork.


Invader is another famous friend of Mr. Brainwash.

Mr. Brainwash has a well known street artist cousin: Invader. Thierry Guetta has always been obsessed with capturing everything around him on film and his cousin’s nightly ‘invasion’ adventures were no exception on a family holiday to France in the 90s. Since then it has been well-known that the two are cousins.

Balloon Girl by Mr. Brainwash Balloon Girl © Mr. Brainwash, 2019

Mr. Brainwash combines Pop Art with Street Art.

Mr. Brainwash blends Pop Art and Street Art to create what he describes as his own form of  “graffiti hybrid”.


The artist takes direct inspiration from other artists and existing imagery in the media.

Mr. Brainwash’s work often co-opts famous copyrighted images and juxtaposes them against a spray-painted background, drawing direct inspiration from artistic bastions such as Banksy, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring.

Marilyn Monroe by Mr. BrainwashMarilyn Monroe © Mr. Brainwash, 2019

With words, Mr. Brainwash is explicit in his positivity.

When compared to other street artists, Mr. Brainwash's work is unashamedly enthusiastic. He frequently features the upbeat slogans ‘life is beautiful’, ‘keep it real’, ‘follow your dreams’ and ‘love is all we need’ in his artworks.

Follow Your Dream by Mr. BrainwashFollow Your Dream © Mr. Brainwash, 2008

Mr. Brainwash is inspired by art history.

In some cases, Mr. Brainwash’s work even more directly draws upon historical works of art. His 2018 collaboration with throat and neck cancer charity It’s a Thing saw him recreate Rodin’s The Thinker in car tires, overlay Van Gogh portraits with Basquiat-style heads, and paint Robert Indiana’s classic LOVE image into a traditional floral still-life.

King of Rock and Roll by Mr. BrainwashKing of Rock and Roll © Mr. Brainwash

Warhol is a huge influence on Mr. Brainwash.

Like Warhol, Mr. Brainwash often features famous images of the well-known in his work, as well as recreating his signature colourful stencilled technique. He even refers to Warhol’s artworks directly - for example Tomato Spray transforms Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans into a street art inspired spray canister.

Diamond Girl Red by Mr. BrainwashDiamond Girl Red © Mr. Brainwash 2016

Mr. Brainwash dedicated one of his artworks to the late Kobe Bryant.

A more recent work was an LA mural dedicated to the late Kobe Bryant, featuring a huge photographic paste-up of the basketball player with his daughter outside of the artist’s studio.

Tomato Spray by Mr. BrainwashTomato Spray © Mr. Brainwash 2008

The record price for a Mr. Brainwash artwork is US$122,500.

Charlie Chaplin Pink became the most expensive work by Mr Brainwash when it sold at Phillips in New York on 14 May 2010. Almost doubling the upper end of it’s pre-sale estimate, the painting sold for US$122,500 at the auction house.

Leah Mentzis

Leah Mentzis, Partnerships Manager[email protected]

Interested in buying or selling
Mr Brainwash?

Browse artworks
Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash

27 works