Mr. Brainwash is the alias of Thierry Guetta, a French videographer and graffiti artist who’s contemporary ‘graffiti-hybrid’ pieces have become some of the most recognisable and highly-valued art of our times.
Born in Paris, Guetta moved to Los Angeles at 15 years old where he organised events and sold vintage clothing. Then, after a trip back home in 1999, the trajectory of his life changed forever. After discovering his cousin was notorious street artist, Space Invader, Guetta quickly became an unofficial videographer, documenting the nocturnal adventures of a group of street artists, that included Shepard Fairey (OBEY), Zevs and eventually, Banksy.
After he helped Banksy launch his Los Angeles show, Barely Legal, in 2009, the pair went on to make Oscar-nominated, Exit Through the Giftshop. The documentary provided a glimpse into life in the highly-secretive graffiti scene, and mapped the birth and meteoric rise of Mr. Brainwash from near novice to attracting over 30,000 visitors to his first solo show, ‘Life is Beautiful’ and selling almost one million dollars’ worth of art.
Although there was speculation the documentary was a spoof, Brainwash has said: ‘This movie is 100% real. Banksy captured me becoming an artist. In the end, I became his biggest work of art.’