Mr. Brainwash – “life is beautiful” Exhibition

June 16, 2008

Opens June 18th at 7pm
Former CBS Studios 6121 W Sunset Blvd @ El Centro
Opens Wednesday June 18th 7pm
6121 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036

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. In his usual style, MBW could not just do a small art show, he had to go completely over the top and put together one of the largest, most ambitious, non-museum shows I can think of (more detailed description below). Of course nothing can go smoothly with MBW and over the weekend he wrecked his car and fell off a billboard breaking his foot. A less insane person would have postponed their art show, but he instead postponed his foot surgery and is continuing work. With the ambition and commitment MBW has, I’m pretty sure he’ll pull the show off, but if he doesn’t, to paraphrase Malcolm Mclaren, a glorious failure is better than an underwhelming success. I will be playing records and a jazz band will perform, so it is going to be a good party.
-Shepard Fairey

Here is what Banksy has to say about MBW:

Mr. Brainwash or MBW is the moniker of an eccentric French filmmaker.

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.

“Life is beautiful” is the first exhibition ever mounted by Mr Brainwash. It takes place in a former Hollywood studio complex and will feature over three hundred paintings, sculptures and prints alongside an installation made from 100,000 shoes and a life-size re-creation of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”.

“Mr. Brainwash is a force of nature, he’s a phenomenon. And I don?t mean that in a good way.”
– Banksy

JUNE, 2008 HOLLYWOOD CA – MR. BRAINWASH (MBW) – “Life is Beautiful” solo art show.

MR. BRAINWASH (aka MBW) officially announces today his first major solo show to open June 18th in Hollywood.

Mostly known for his iconic imagery on the streets of New York and Los Angeles, Mr. Brainwash unveils his first major collection of new work in the dust jacket section of Hollywood at the old CBS studios. In a 15,000 sq foot TV studio of yesteryear, Mr. Brainwash will launch a large scale art happening as well as show over 100 pieces of artwork he’s introducing to the market. After tearing down and clearing out the entire studio, the new space will include a 6 foot-tall bar-coded Mona Lisa painting, stencils, oil paintings and photography, a life-size recreation of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” and big installations such as a 8-foot tall spray can and a 12-foot tall paper bag among others.

The large scale show will include a live jazz band, bar, DJ’s (Sheppard Fairey), movie projector installations, seven spare rooms with their own separate themes, life-sized art cutouts, double-decker views, a bank vault filled with modern gold, a “stolen” piece of Marcel Duchamp’s artwork and a labyrinth-like showroom that snakes from pieces of artwork that are laced with sarcasm, fitted with humor and juxtaposed representations of pop culture’s icons.

Also prepared is a special surprise installation of 100,000 shoes and 20,000 books.