ONE SMALL SEED MAGAZINE Issue #29 Digital 04 THE BEST OF - Page 36

MR BRAINWASH: LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANKSY 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