Monday, 16 March 2009

Mr Brainwash

A new body of work, produced exclusively in 2009 for Guy Hepner. Mr Brainwash paintings are all unique. They are produced in a variety of different media and are diverse in content. Working with graffiti, stencil, acrylic, screen print and vinyl, paintings are applied to canvas, paper, cardboard and found objects. Subject matter is often appropriated from other contemporary and pop artists, but reinterpreted with a skeptical evaluation of the Utopian ideal the originally propagated. Appropriation art is often misunderstood and seen as unoriginal and devoid of progressive ideas, although what is actually being sought is a progression on the original ideas put forward. Mr Brainwash is one of the most recent advocates of this school of painting, following own from highly respected 1960s artists including Richard Pettibone and Elaine Sturtevant.(Guy Hepner)

Banksy on Mr Brainwash:

"MBW has spent the last nine years attempting to make the ultimate documentary about graffiti art. But whilst filming many of the world’s most renowned street artists at work MBW began putting his camera aside and making art of his own. He has graduated from a few hand drawn stickers to giant billboard sized paste-ups, eventually becoming one of the most prolific street artists in California.

MBW does not fit the stereotype of your average street vandal. His artistic process chiefly consists of throwing random modern cultural icons into a blender and turning it up to eleven. The results are by turns profound, provocative and inspirational."

Shepard Fairey on Mr Brainwash:

"Mr. Brainwash is an enigma. I want to hug him one second and smack him the next. He is awesome, infuriating, almost impossible to define, but if an artist is defined by relentless, obsessive passion, then MBW is definitely an artist. Which kind of artist though? When I first met MBW he was a film maker. He started documenting me putting art up on the streets and in galleries back in ‘99. He has hundreds of hours of footage and often risked his neck climbing with a camera to very dangerous spots. MBW’s camera was ALWAYS on… Theoretically MBW is coming out with an OBEY documentary eventually. Somewhere along the way I introduced MBW to Banksy, which seemed to lead him to transition from just a voyeur to a participant, and he began making his own street art. MBW told me he used to paint and had actually sold his art to Michael Jackson years ago. Knowing this art background and his obsessive nature, it does not surprise me how quickly MBW rose to prominence with his street art, becoming one of the most “up” people in LA in a short amount of time. Not all of the work was magnificent, but it improved steadily, reflecting the maxim that practice yields results. Meanwhile, in addition to his street art, as flows logically, MBW was also making canvases and screen prints that could be shown in a gallery."(Guy Hepner)

++Guy Hepner
++Older post on le Zèbre

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