A 5 meter high mural of the Beatles by the French born American artist Mr Brainwash, which was the centrepiece of his first London exhibition, has been painted over by the owners of the former Royal Mail sorting office, on the corner of Museum Street.
The monumental painting of the Fab Four, wearing bandanas over their faces, had become a landmark in the area after the artwork appeared in June this year. Mr Brainwash, whose real name is Thierry Guetta, is the protégé of British street artist Banksy. He was featured in the Banksy film ‘Exit Through The Gift-shop’ which was Oscar nominated in 2010.
Guetta took over the five-storey building last summer in order to exhibit his work, which included a King Kong sculpture made from old tires and several depictions of the Queen. The space was also filled with paintings, sculpture, performance and installation works. Some was acceptably well executed, some God awful and some with the conceptual sensibility of a twelve year old.
Brainwash is a nice bloke. I want to like this work but it leaves me questioning the entire state of the art market, on all levels. Like fast food, instead of satisfying, it actually aggravates my sensibility and my stomach. Is it just taking the piss a bit too far? Yes! But I repeat, the problem I have with Brainwash is he is so bad he’s good. You can’t get away from it. He has a cheerful, feel good persona . You can’t help liking him. He poses, he’s happy and he makes you feel good.
The summer exhibition was a cliche on legs. kate Moss and Madonna, a couple of actors dressed as Star Wars’ Darth Vader’ and the tag “May the Art Be With You” sprayed on the wall. These props are worthy of an ad agency, just eye-candy with empty content, beyond any corporate art I have seen. This is not the work of a serious contemporary artist in 2012. What I did see below the surface was the cash cow generation and the blatant commerciality. Maybe this is the whole point of Brainwash or is that giving him too much credit? isn’t it just too obvious? The exhibition opening was sponsored by Coca Cola Burn and also featured the top international DJ, Grammy award-winning David Guetta, no relation.