ONE SMALL SEED MAGAZINE Issue #29 Digital 04 THE BEST OF - Page 36
WAY TO THE
Whatever your opinion of iconoclastic street artist/vandal
Banksy, you can’t deny his cultural footprint. Legendary stunts,
like the detention of an inflatable Guantanamo Bay inmate
in Disneyland, cement his status as a ‘guerilla artist’. He also
replaced hundreds of Paris Hilton’s with his own remixes that
asked questions like ‘Why am I famous?’ and ‘What have I
done?’ Ironically, many critics ask the same of Banksy as they
doubt his artistic value, integrity and originality.
Which brings us to Mr Brainwash, the Los Angeles-based
pop artist and filmmaker. Born in Paris under the name Thierry
Guetta, his gap-filled biography has prompted conspiracy
theorists to speculate that he's a Banksy/Shepard Fairey/
Invader project and that the acclaimed Banksy-directed
documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop is a grand hoax and
offers more grift than gift. Mr. Brainwash creates satirical twists
on classic pieces, including some of Banksy’s ‘own’ stuff, and
his lavish exhibitions routinely draw crowds of aficionados,
detractors and the curious.
Mr Brainwash is dedicated to spreading a message that is
positive, colourful and – like Andy Warhol’s – accessible.
Jean-Michel Basquiat said, ‘I start a picture and I finish it. I
don't think about art while I work. I try to think about life.' From
his California home, Mr Brainwash gives one small seed an
exclusive interview, giving insight into undeniable passion for
art and for life.
Interview: Jean-Rene Onyangunga
Words: Gustav Swart