Guess who #BrainwashedNYC . That’s right, none other than Mr.Brainwash! An artist who made his name by stealing from other artists he knows or admires. Watch the film “Exit Through the Gift Shop” if you haven’t already and you will know what I mean. Have you heard the saying, “imitation is the best form of flattery”? I believe that is true in many cases, but what about when imitation goes too far?
As I walked into the Taglialatella gallery in Chelsea NY, the first thing that came to mind is ‘what an a$$hole!’. The remnants of so many pop artists and street artists we know and love are riddled through out the exhibit. Take Andy Warhol, Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jackson Pollock and Jeff Koons, put them in a blender and chug! Then you too can vomit pop art like Mr.Brainwash. Rainbow colored splatter paint, Warhol’esque screen print grids with glitter, and portraits of pop idols like Hendrix and Lennon made from broken vinyl records. Brainwash seemingly creates the perfect marriage between clever and cliche.
Take Andy Warhol, Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jackson Pollock and Jeff Koons, put them in a blender and chug!
Stella Artois sponsored the exhibit and collaborated with Brainwash and the gallery. Some Artois materials were given to the artist, and Stella was definitely on tap at the opening. The artist created sponsor themed works including an 8 ft. tall Stella Artois spray can, with prints and stickers to match.
There is a thin line between genius and insanity and maybe I have Brainwash pegged on the wrong side. Maybe he’s not stealing but rather paying homage… or getting paid for his homage to these great artists. Could he be demonstrating through his art the level of fantasy and brainwashing that lead to these great artists rise, fame and success? This guy is definitely doing something right.
There is a thin line between genius and insanity, and maybe I have Brainwash pegged on the wrong side.
There seems to be a mantra or textual motif throughout the show, which simply states “Life is Beautiful”. Found in a painting on the wall, to a neon sign and even a series of resin casts. Brainwash tries to make sure you remember these words, which have shown up in his previous work as well. I would love to say that this mantra is a genuine sentiment but I can’t. Once I saw the resin casts laid out, I couldn’t help but make the comparison to Jeff Koons balloon dog bookends. The question of originality comes in to play. But is anything new really original? To create something new we have to be influenced by our predecessors. Right?
Perhaps part of the appeal to his work is the fact that he is literally taking other artists styles. I think its a pretty weak kind of shock value. Apparently his corporate sponsors like Stella Artois, Nike, or Ray Ban don’t feel the way I do.
It’s not often artists are given the freedom to throw paint around and splatter it on the walls of their gallery. Taglialatella gallery made an exception for this would-be superstar artist. We see the mantra “life is Beautiful” once again , but in this case it seems more like he meant “Don’t hate, Appreciate”. Well you can hate or appreciate his work in person at Taglialatella Gallery until October 16th, 2016.
How do you feel about Mr.Brainwash? Is he a genius or just crazy, or perhaps both? Have you seen the show yet? Tell us what you think in the comments, check out the rest of the images and rate the Artshow with stars below!
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