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.