Mr Brainwash

Sooooooo, I just got back from the Mr Brainwash exhibition in London. I wasn't planning on going because I knew it would just piss me off, but a bunch of people from work wanted to go so I sort of just tagged along. I left after about 20 minutes. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty angry.

For those who don't know, Mr Brainwash [Real name: Thierry Guetta] was a cameraman who tricked a lot of graffiti artists, including Banksy, into letting him follow them around and film them working for a supposed "Documentary" that he was making. In actual fact he was working on no such project. He wasn't even keeping track of what he was filming. Banksy once said:

"Uhmmm... You know... it was at that point that I realized that maybe Thierry (Mr Brainwash) wasn't actually a film maker, and he was maybe just someone with mental problems who happened to have a camera."

If you haven't seen the film then I strongly recommend you seek out a copy, it's very funny, though probably not intentionally.

After Banksy found out that he wasn't actually making a film, he sent him away to make some of his own graffiti. The result was.... well.... bad.

"Yeah, I was faced with that terrible thing, when somebody shows you their work and everything about it is shit... so... you don't really know where to start." - Banksy

So yeah, I popped along to this exhibition of... well, shit.

It's a guy who rented out a warehouse, sprayed paint on a load of random junk and then announced it was art. And, while it made me really angry, I also kind of enjoy how fucked up that is.

The thing is, the work has no substance. There's nothing there. There's no message. There's no pleasing aesthetic, or mental stimulation. There's no plan. There's transparently no plan. It's almost patronising, with Union Jacks made out of empty spray cans. BECAUSE WE'RE IN ENGLAND, RIGHT?! It's like a graffiti ad campaign by the fucking Halifax. Mr Brainwash is essentially the Paris Hilton of contemporary art.

"Warhol repeated iconic images until they became meaningless, but there was still something iconic about them. Thierry really makes them meaningless." - Banksy

The big debate is over how self-aware this guy is.

Does he actually know what he's doing? Is he deliberately attempting to undermine the foundations of artistic integrity by deliberately being completely shit? Or is he just completely shit? Either way, the warehouse was full of punters who were obviously enjoying it, so he seems to be winning. Right? I don't know.

I kinda like not knowing. Because if it turns out that he really is an absolute moron who has shamelessly conned all these people into thinking he is an artist... well.... I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

"I think the joke is on... I don't know who the joke's on - really. I don't even know if there is a joke." - Steve Lazarides

One thing is for sure.

If Banksy was right and this guy actually might know what he's doing, then I just got trolled so fucking hard.

Thanks for reading

Love Sweep

21 Comments
22 Comments
Edited by Sweep

Sooooooo, I just got back from the Mr Brainwash exhibition in London. I wasn't planning on going because I knew it would just piss me off, but a bunch of people from work wanted to go so I sort of just tagged along. I left after about 20 minutes. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty angry.

For those who don't know, Mr Brainwash [Real name: Thierry Guetta] was a cameraman who tricked a lot of graffiti artists, including Banksy, into letting him follow them around and film them working for a supposed "Documentary" that he was making. In actual fact he was working on no such project. He wasn't even keeping track of what he was filming. Banksy once said:

"Uhmmm... You know... it was at that point that I realized that maybe Thierry (Mr Brainwash) wasn't actually a film maker, and he was maybe just someone with mental problems who happened to have a camera."

If you haven't seen the film then I strongly recommend you seek out a copy, it's very funny, though probably not intentionally.

After Banksy found out that he wasn't actually making a film, he sent him away to make some of his own graffiti. The result was.... well.... bad.

"Yeah, I was faced with that terrible thing, when somebody shows you their work and everything about it is shit... so... you don't really know where to start." - Banksy

So yeah, I popped along to this exhibition of... well, shit.

It's a guy who rented out a warehouse, sprayed paint on a load of random junk and then announced it was art. And, while it made me really angry, I also kind of enjoy how fucked up that is.

The thing is, the work has no substance. There's nothing there. There's no message. There's no pleasing aesthetic, or mental stimulation. There's no plan. There's transparently no plan. It's almost patronising, with Union Jacks made out of empty spray cans. BECAUSE WE'RE IN ENGLAND, RIGHT?! It's like a graffiti ad campaign by the fucking Halifax. Mr Brainwash is essentially the Paris Hilton of contemporary art.

"Warhol repeated iconic images until they became meaningless, but there was still something iconic about them. Thierry really makes them meaningless." - Banksy

The big debate is over how self-aware this guy is.

Does he actually know what he's doing? Is he deliberately attempting to undermine the foundations of artistic integrity by deliberately being completely shit? Or is he just completely shit? Either way, the warehouse was full of punters who were obviously enjoying it, so he seems to be winning. Right? I don't know.

I kinda like not knowing. Because if it turns out that he really is an absolute moron who has shamelessly conned all these people into thinking he is an artist... well.... I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

"I think the joke is on... I don't know who the joke's on - really. I don't even know if there is a joke." - Steve Lazarides

One thing is for sure.

If Banksy was right and this guy actually might know what he's doing, then I just got trolled so fucking hard.

Thanks for reading

Love Sweep

Moderator
Posted by Soap

I thought the whole thing, Mr Brainwash included was just another piece of art by Banksy?

Posted by Fattony12000
Posted by Demoskinos

@Sweep: You goddamn monster. This is YouTube spam. How dare you!

Edited by sungahymn

@Sweep said:

"I think the joke is on... I don't know who the joke's on - really. I don't even know if there is a joke." - Steve Lazarides

Best quote I ever heard...uh, read.

Posted by Sweep

@Soap said:

I thought the whole thing, Mr Brainwash included was just another piece of art by Banksy?

Yeah, that's another theory! Which is even more meta and fucked up!

@Demoskinos said:

@Sweep: You goddamn monster. This is YouTube spam. How dare you!

  1. Go read the FAQ
  2. Slap yourself in the face
  3. Return here and apologise
Moderator
Posted by Demoskinos

@Sweep: Jokes son...jokes...

Posted by Sweep

@Demoskinos: Curse you, lack of inflection through text!

Moderator
Posted by mandude

This is making me too uncomfortable to explore any deeper. Art already generally makes me angry.

Posted by Chaser324

@Soap said:

I thought the whole thing, Mr Brainwash included was just another piece of art by Banksy?

That's always been what I've thought. It could very well have started out as something else, but Banksy eventually saw it as an opportunity to make a point.

Moderator
Posted by Aegon

I've watched the movie and had always assumed Mr. Brainwash was just a character in a mockumentary. You're telling me this could be real? That Banksy really did just get a bunch of videos from an idiot and tried to make a movie out of it?

Posted by GalacticPunt

Yeah, rather than get upset, I'd choose to believe Mr. Brainwash is an ongoing Banksy prank. Hype up this fake artist, whose output is generated by a "sweatshop" of art students, who build and even conceive his brainless creations for him. Then watch the art world line up around the block. Parodying corporate co-opting of art and something-something!

Posted by Milkman

Is this going to be stickied?

Posted by Sweep

@GalacticPunt: @Aegon: Haha, yeah I'm kinda hoping that's the case because the alternative would suck. Gotta admit though, there's definitely the potential for this to be just as moronic as it seems:

"I don't know how to play chess, but to me, life is like a game of chess." - Thierry Guetta

Moderator
Posted by Mustachio

Oh man, I watched Exit Through the Gift Shop a few months back and it reminded me of this picture:

Poor Banksy, I really hope this does turn out to be some incredibly elaborate stunt.

Posted by Sweep

@Milkman said:

Is this going to be stickied?

Haha, maybe it will! I gotta keep you fuckers on your toes...

Moderator
Posted by Sweep

Someone at work just floated the theory that Mr Brainwash IS Banksy. Now I don't even know what's real anymore.

Moderator
Posted by Phatmac

Oh shit. I keep forgetting to see this movie.

Posted by NathHaw

My favorite part of the doc was where some of the attendees to the art show were amazed by the art...and then Madonna got the dude to make her album cover.

Posted by yoshisaur

@Sweep: Honestly, I think everyone has someone in the art industry that really makes them angry. After researching it a bit, I feel I have to side on the idea that he is a nut-case that somehow conned himself in to fame. It wouldn't be the first person to do it, and there lies my reasoning for not really progressively following art. I hate going to an exhibit with my wife and being "convinced" by the artists that their attempt at Art is anything but blatant imitation of past artists. What I mean by this is that they got angry one night, threw paint at the canvas, and suddenly I'm supposed to see this "anger" that's hidden beneath the surface.

No.

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

Wait that guy is real?

Posted by Milkman

I'm pretty sure Mr. Brainwash is just Banksy trolling.