We asked—who is Mr. Brainwash?
"In the '80s me and my brother created this name when we were playing with logos and turning them around. When I decided to come into the art world, I didn't want to use my name, Thierry Guetta, and today everything is about brainwashing so I used this name."
When we asked about the allegations that he is a copycat of Banksy, that people say he is in fact Banksy, he laughs, "We are good friends, like brothers," he answers in a thick French accent. "But why you?" we try to understand. "Banksy has kept his identity a secret for many years, what made him trust you?" Silence. It seems like he chooses his words very carefully, "He trusts me. It was a good connection between us."
Who is Mr. Brainwash? Why does it matter?
In 2009, Madonna asked Mr. Brainwash to design the cover for her Celebration album. Mr. Brainwash's work sold for five-figure sums at his self-financed exhibit Life is Beautiful. According to the blog The Daily Beast, a Mr. Brainwash portrait of Jim Morrison was sold for $100,000. On October 6, 2011 Mr. Brainwash opened his latest solo exhibition at Opera Gallery in London. The exhibition sold out within two days, with one private collector buying 14 of the 36 works of art on display. Seth MacFarlane, creator of the hit TV show Family Guy and host of the 2013 Oscars" asked Mr. Brainwash to decorate The Lot in West Hollywood, site of the Oscars after-party, where all the Hollywood celebrities celebrated their Oscar wins.
So when people ask who Mr. Brainwash is, we say that we don't care. We love his provocative, brave work and we don't care who is behind it. There are conspiracy theories in the history of art that remain theories, like the identity of William Shakespeare. We love Shakespeare regardless.
Sometimes it's enough just to enjoy the art.