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Mr. Brainwash: “If I believe it, it’s art for me”

January 25, 2012

Mr. Brainwash, are you an art piece by Banksy?

What’s an art piece? Maybe I am. If you think about it, why not? I’m real; I am who I am. I’m continuing. What you see now is mine, Banksy has nothing to do with it. I’m here, it’s me. My life is my life; nobody’s going to take that from me. His life is his life. I mean, we have a connection, we have something that connected us for a movie, but life goes on.

Do you introduce yourself as Mr. Brainwash or Thierry Guetta?

Both names are the same – Mr. Brainwash a.k.a. Thierry Guetta. People know me as both names. It’s the same person.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from Bansky?

If I learned anything from him, it would be passion. You know, two people meet each other and they connect. That’s why there is a movie about it because there was a connection from him to me and me to him. There is this connection that made something.

Were you ever tempted to tell people who he really is? A lot of people are interested in that and would pay a lot of money.

I don’t get bought out. I’m a real person with real trust and that’s how it is. You don’t need to know; it’s not going to make a difference if you know. It’s just going to serve a little problem in your head but it doesn’t make a difference.

How do you feel about Banksy stealing your film?

He didn’t steal my film.

So you let him have it?

No, we were involved together.

But it was your footage that he then turned into a movie.

So? It doesn’t matter. It’s that kind of film; he kind of put it together. It’s teamwork. It’s something that is done. A movie is not done by one person, it’s done with a lot of people. The editor did his work, the filmmaker did his work – it’s a whole thing all together.

Were there moments when you thought that this whole thing would go wrong and not work out?

I didn’t care, you know. I mean I go all the way and whatever happens happens. At least I don’t regret that I didn’t do it.

But there was money involved, right?

There is money involved. But money you can always make back. I think in life a situation cannot happen all the time. You have one moment in life that you decide to do something and you go all the way. I work with a passion and my passion is what drives me into craziness and sometimes craziness makes you do things that you don’t do normally.

Has making money changed the way you make art?

No, sometimes art without money is better art. Sometimes you do something better without money so money doesn’t make a difference. Money makes it happen that you can do bigger things. You can fly, you can go anywhere. It’s something that keeps you rolling and keeps you doing what you want to do in life.

But without money you wouldn’t be able to put on the exhibitions you do. You don’t actually make the art pieces yourself, you have people doing them for you, correct?

Not really the art, but some installations that’s for sure. I have a mind that is bigger than what people think. Sometimes I want something that is 20 feet high and it’s a television and I’m not going to be the one putting it together. It would take me the whole show to do it. So hiring some people to have what I have in my mind – it’s whatever it is. I get things done the way that I want it. So it doesn’t matter. Like, somebody who built the Eiffel tower, it’s not the artist who is going to build it. He’s going to have some other people that are going to build it for him and he’s going to be there to see the evolution of it and I guess everything else too. Like building a building, you know? Some people have it in their mind, they design it, and some people help to create it.

Can you draw?

Yeah, you know I’m good for me. I don’t know if I’m good for you. Art doesn’t have any way – art is freedom and you can do it any way you want. I can take a bottle and put it on top of this table and say this is art. If I believe it, it’s art for me, and it can be art for other people.

So what is the goal of your art?

What I want to bring to people is something that people can smile at and something that can be funny. It’s not playing jokes or being funny, it’s to be real and to do whatever you want. There are no rules in life, nobody can tell you the rules. You live your life and you’re trying to be the best at it and you’re trying to follow your dream and nobody’s going to stop it.

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Short Profile

Name: Thierry Guetta
DOB: 1966
Place of Birth: Garges-lès-Gonesse, France
Occupation: Artist

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42 Responses to this Interview

  1. Ha… Is it me or you don’t like this guy?
    I don’t blame you.
    Good job.

  2. I think this guy is a hack. I can’t show any respect to someone who doesn’t actually paint his stuff. It’s fine and dandy that you have cool ideas. It would be even cooler if you knew how to actually do it yourself. He’s wack and if I see his stuff on the street I would tag over it.

  3. I like him. His attitude is what you call specially unique-poop.

    Enjoyed the read

  4. Why even give this fraud attention?

  5. This guy is a perfect example of how lots of $ will get you places. Sad but true. What a disgrace.

  6. I love how quick people like to hate on something but not even understand it. Art is a form of expression, looking at any form of art there is so much that is a like. Ideas come from seeing something a simple memory that gives you a good feeling. If you have noting good to say then dont say it. Judge Not
    One Love

  7. I like him too, he realize his dreams :-)

  8. Things actually get a lot clearer when you see the movie. You’ll discover this guy is weird but his ability to hype something up is unbeaten.



  10. Mr Brainwash is the real new Warhol. He is here to say: I have no education in art, I make art like anybody could maek it, but actually anybody can’t make it. I make art cause I can do it. Like the Campbell soup, my art is a ready-made object manufacturated by others but exposed by me. Congrats Mr. Brainwash.

  11. It`s all crap !!!

  12. I think that Thierry Guetta plays a vital and essential role to the graffiti scene as David Guetta plays a vital and essential role to the dance music scene.. He plays the role of the fraud, and he do it on purpose. Actually the anti-buzz that he is making of himself gives him a lot of credit and i think it’s a clever way to positionning himself in the graffiti scene. Like @Oscar said, he got serious skills in hyping things, at least i give him that.

  13. Brain Wash is a lié he is no artist he has just make aun art Style into capitalism , that has no merit, he think him self as aun artist but his Style is just a banksy gift ,artist real artist transform with time Their own lifes into a style, brain Wash diente transform anything, he just stole ir fron the artists he has met on his life, so i worldwide never share an idea with someone like him, he is just a shameless accident in art world, And i think thats what

  14. I think it is about passion, creativity and luck. And this guy has got that despite what other people say because he did not do it the conventional way. Good interview

  15. I got one of his art pieces at my toilet

  16. Mr. Brainwash, should i say something. you don’t sound like an artist. art has moved far ahead then what you are talking. you are trying to fit in some other person cloths. just because you liked it. your passion was appreciated only up to you was holding camera. and that made Bankey invite you. you have to understand that everyone has some qualities and you should identify your quality and groom your quality. and what you did! you got impressed by someone and you want to do something that you like as viewer. and in this process you lose what you had, you will find buyer and collectors of anything, but what matters is are selling your real wisdom or it is just about money.
    i totally understand what Bankey means

  17. I think he’s Banksy

  18. Watch Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1587707/ , in order to understand more about what he does and how everything started. I think he has an interesting story to tell.

  19. Daniel Castanheira

    For no special reason i believe this guy is Banksy acting as an alter ego. May be speculating but only Banksy would smartly jerk around with our minds this way, ehehe!!

  20. I really dig Mr Brainwash. He has been a big inspiration to me. Banksy my have cornered the market, but Brainwash is the funny guy, He makes me laugh out loud and he has a romantic side that Banksy lacks.

  21. He is no less of an artist than the likes of Damien Hurst. I love what he does. I think his path was pretty unconventional but that can’t be a bad thing.

  22. I have seen a lot of people defend this guy, I’m not sure what it is that people assum this guy is honest in his work, I mean he calls him self “Mr. Brainwash” . He might as well call his supported “morons” I mean wake up people I understand when people say that is a form of expression, but you have to respect the craft and the craftman, a tattoo artist isn’t a tattoo artist if he doesn’t perform the act of pushing a needle creating a masterpiece, I’m a photographer and I couldn’t be a photograoher if i didn’t understand the technicality behind the lens, the process.

    What this guy is doing is running his little sweat shop paying these guys penny’s when he’s making a killing, “Money doesn’t make art, I don’t need it”-………. But yet he sits on the phone on his first solo show ever throwin numbers like $25k for an 16×20. F**k out of here with that.

  23. Julien Porisse ARTIST

    Hello Mr Brainwash Aka Thierry Guetta.
    You know Eduardo Kobra…Me too !
    I watched the film about your story how you observed and filmed various street artists like Shepherd Fairy (spelling?) Banksy, and some others. The huge show you set up in LA, the fact that you launched yourself into the art world in your mid thirties is something different. I would say that you observe very well, decide on your “strategy” and…did it.
    Getting art made is normal. Most non artists don’t seize this idea at all. I paint my own work, but when i do a mural sculpture that’s Big and needs specific “know how” I get an art company to build it.
    Hope our paths meet, as I plan to share a mural with Kobra sometime.

    • Great job Mr. Brainwash and thank you for the motivational movie that you did with Banksy, you helped me to follow my dream, I live it everyday is called artbending.

  24. This guy has more character on his pinky than most of you have in your entire bodies. Get the fuck over yourselves. He spreads a positive message about what it’s like to a successful artist and all you guys can do is shit all over him because he has money. What a bunch of jerks.

  25. I think this guy found a way to “accommodate” their own life, in what he calls his art, and that is the envy of many people. The true art of Mr. Brainwash, is its particular and unique lifestyle. Who has this capacity to bring people together and make these people to do things that only exist in your mind? No doubt there must be some talent in it. Being in the right places, have many famous friends, who has this talent? Who has the talent for business income, doing things that apparently would not have commercial value?

    Some artists have produced great master peaces, and were acclaimed by art critics, but nevertheless ended up committing suicide because his art did not bring answers to their own lives.

    Mr. Brainwash could make your own life the expression of his art, and there is no sacrifice that, after all as he always says, “Life is beautiful” at least his life certainly is.

  26. I don’t know if this guy is a hack or not, but what I do know is that he’s selling his paintings in European galleries for 70K euros. That makes me think about this strange relationship between art and media nowadays. And also about the process of evaluating an art piece…

  27. come on man, we al know YOU are banksy
    that’s why i love that movie so much
    because you hide in plain sight LOL
    you’re a fucking genius

  28. His art is mostly just copies, totally unoriginal, but there’s a few gems, the biggest being guetta himself, he’s fascinating.

  29. I think this guy is awesome… I love his attitude…so yeah, some may say anyone can do what he does… And I kinda agree… But not everyone does…it is what it is. He does it… Others don’t..and that’s that. His passion and drive is art In itself… People need to quite with their negativity… And answer this…if they think they can do better…then why are they not?????

  30. “Can you draw?

    Yeah, you know I’m good for me. I don’t know if I’m good for you.”

    In otherwords: he can’t draw.

  31. “You live your life and you’re trying to be the best at it and you’re trying to follow your dream and nobody’s going to stop it.” Thats it!

    Good Mr. Brainwash. Fuck the rest.

  32. Mr. Brainwash I love the film, I love your attitude and I would love to see one of your exhibits one day. Cheers and greetings from Mexico ;)

  33. i like him better than banksy,that’s for sure.
    He’s real. not some cocky guy that makes clever art. And it shows in his art.

  34. He’s an architect.

  35. So many haters that have not watched the documentary. Watch the damn movie before judging an article you idiots! This guy has bigger balls than all you who hate because he wasn’t scared to take a leap of faith in his life and go after a new found passion.

    Movie: Exit Through The Giftshop

    You’re welcome, stop hating.

  36. I can't respect this guy...

    Why do people respect this guy as a artist… he followed real artists around and stole their styles of art and made it into something profitable. It’s in the eye of the beholder to determine if something is art and in my eyes I see he created art…. but he is NOT a artist.

  37. Mandot aka Barry Messer

    I’ve been an artist since I was 16 or 17 years old. I’m now 62. If I had an agent like this guy I could quit my day job. I did the movie, if it weren’t for Banksy, it would have been crap. But the guy does know how to create hype and I guess that’s one way a mediocre talent gets attention. I don’t begrudge him success, I only wish I would’ve thought of it first. As it is I’m a real artist and making no money what so ever. If you want to see it, look me up on Facebook. Such is the way of the art world.

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