Mr. Brainwash (aka Thierry Guetta) made it to Basel, to the groans and eye rolls of art Basel Miami Beach 2010 patrons and artists alike. Renting out a large building situated directly on Collins, the exterior featuring stormtroopers around all sides and a giant banner which read “Love is the Answer” stenciled on a sign held by Einstein.
Everyone seems to hate Thierry Guetta, and the consensus around Basel was that his show was shit in all it’s entirety. We heard lot’s of “it’s the same ideas used over and over” and “he doesn’t make any of the art” floating around the crowds. Many said they wouldn’t even acknowledge that his show was even in town, even going as far as to cross the street when close to the show.
That did not, however, stop the throngs of curious art seekers from checking out the bizarre event. It seemed people were in wonderment that someone could put up a show of such low standards at the centrally located Collins spot.
At one point during the opening, Thierry ran past us with a smile on his face exclaiming that he just wanted everyone to have a good time….and yes, people were having just that. The bad taste that Mr. Brainwash seems to leave in the mouths of the art establishment strikes a chord with your everyday Joe. Kids absolutely had a great time, and you could see this in the smiles and laughter as they trotted through the space.
To them, this is what happens when Walt Disney is handed a spray paint can and is put into a room with poor ventilation.
It’s hard to even describe much of the “art” at the show, and it’s better to let you view the pictures for yourself (see our gallery of photos on this page). It’s they typical cultural mishmash of imagery that we’ve come to expect from Mr. Brainwash, and technically the work is both sloppy and looks rushed.
Despite all the poor artistry, the complaints, people were talking about the “Mr. Brainwash Show” from Wynwood to Basel proper. This is something to note.
What Thierry seems to have tapped upon is our cultural obsession with celebrity and a “do it yourself” methodology. He doesn’t care what people think, what reviews are written, even how much art is sold. He seems to have crafted “Under Construction” out of pure passion and drive, and shows others that anyone can do it – to which people relate – and the art establishment hates.
Mr. Brainwash also gave out the most shwag at the show. Thousands of posters were handed out for free (in many different Mr. Brainwash subjects), which made it easier for many street artists we knew to comfortable wheatpaste around town with their rolled art comfortably sticking out of bags.
Is Mr. Brainwash art? Should we consider this one giant performance piece?
Maybe we just stop asking whether it’s art or not, stop all the dialogue, and just grab a free drink and enjoy the show. The kids – after all – are enjoying it thoroughly.
Visit the Mr. Brainwash site at:
Photos by Michael Cuffe for Warholian.com