My London Souvenir

The Beatles, with colorful bandanas covering their faces like masks–loomed on a wall in London’s West End. As people toting posters passed me by, I realized the building called The Old Sorting Office (formerly used by the Royal Mail) was a temporary art gallery. Inside, a giant Olympic symbol–the five colorful rings–was made from open paint cans with the contents spilling ever so gently down the wall. Intrigued, I walked inside the massive space. The warehouse held life size installations, murals, and stencil work. The pieces poked fun at icons and recreated well-known pieces of art with a humorous twist.

Mr. Brainwash is a pseudonym for Thierry Guetta, a Paris born and LA based filmmaker and Pop artist. Madonna used his Warhol-esque art for the cover of her greatest hits compilation, Celebration. Guetta gained increased notoriety as the subject matter of the 2012 Oscar-nominated Basnky’s documentary, Exit Through the Git Shop.

I knew none of this as I wandered through the exhibit–Life is Beautiful. His work made me laugh. Before exiting the show, everyone had a chance to select a free poster. I chose one of a graffiti covered wall with the Queen of England (dressed in white gloves and a proper hat) holding a paint can and grinning from ear-to-ear. Later, I discovered this print was done to commemorate her Jubilee Celebration–sixty years of service on the throne.

Is Mr. Brainwash any good? I have no idea, but I am getting my London souvenir framed and hanging it on my office wall. The poster makes this Anglophile smile.

To find out what is happening in London during your trip, check out www.visitlondon.com and www.visitbritain.com. For information about Mr. Brainwash, visit www.mrbrainwash.com.

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  1. These are really interesting especially the bands of Olympic logo is very nice .

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