Mr Brainwash, or MBW, is the moniker of French filmmaker and street artist Thierry Guetta. Originally a clothing store owner based in Los Angeles, it was Guetta’s love of documentary film that lead him on a life changing journey to become an Urban / Pop Art superstar.
On a visit to France in the mid 1990s, Guetta filmed his cousin, the street artist Space Invader. Watching as Invader installed video game mosaics across Paris, Guetta became fascinated with the role of street art in modern culture. From here he started to film other street artists, including Obey (Shepard Fairey). Fairey would later introduce Guetta to Banksy, who would encourage Guetta to make the transition from a voyeur of street art into a participant. It was Banksy’s influence that would turn Guetta into one of the world’s most famous and wealthy artists.
Under Banksy’s guidance, Guetta began to create playful artworks that fused historic pop imagery and contemporary cultural iconography. This pop-graffiti art hybrid style has since become Guetta’s trademark – attracting the likes of Madonna (who asked him to designer her greatest hits album cover) and breaking art records, with his portrait of Jim Morrison selling for over $100,000 and his paintings and limited edition prints continuing to increase in both popularity and value.