Photos: Mr Brainwash Preview Party for "Life Is Beautiful"

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 18 Jun 2008
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MBW Solo Show
Life is Beautiful
Former CBS Studios 6121 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
Opening Wednesday June 18th 2008

Words and Photos by Trina Calderon

Mr. Brainwash – aka Thierry Guetta – has pulled off a massive show in the old CBS Studios building in Hollywood. Rumor has it art was still being hung by 4pm the day before…there were actually several rooms that were marked ‘not finished’ by spray paint and masked off with yellow police tape (although, honestly, I liked them unfinished.)

The space has several small rooms that must have been offices or perhaps edit bays back in the day, but now resemble old parlor or salon rooms with paintings and framed giclee prints on canvas that have been embellished with a contemporary twist by MBW. Classic images with a hitch: a Degas-esque ballerina with a cast on one foot that is totally tagged up. Old sepia portraits that include members of RUN DMC or Star Wars. A composition that looks like an old European town street with people boarding a Los Angeles Metro bus and a Prospect bus stop across the street (Los Felix, folks, not Marseilles.) Of course, there is also a giant Robot in the back corner of the show – made of TV sets that work. There are also some amazing giant spray paintings of Jimi Hendrix on canvas that are just awesome and there is a print of him in the front corridor – playing Guitar Hero.

MBW’s sense of humor and match up of contemporary and classic themes inspire laugher, fun, and his true philosophy that life is beautiful. He jokes and comments on our mass-consumer pop life in everything he shows – connect the dots Gandhi, an oversized To-Go bag from Wok of Fame restaurant in Burbank, a large sculpture of a six pack of Petrol Light beer, and even Elvis holding a Fisher Price rifle.

He fuses video games, toys, graffiti, and Hollywood icons to make his statement…it may be a world full of difference but it all comes together to make life beautiful. MBW is a charming man with a desire to inspire and contribute to the world around him all the time. The courtyard outside the show has trees filled with hanging shoes painted green and TV sets on the lawn that are tombstones to old Hollywood pop mavericks like Merv Griffin and Aaron Spelling.

A Jazz band played outside as people milled about the preview party and I heard that the musicians were all handpicked by MBW and had never played together before that night. This is the kind of spontaneity and freedom you can expect when seeing his work. There really is a lot to see in the space, way more than I can even mention. But, the best part is that there are two cop cars in the show. One inside with pink paint dumped all over it, and one outside that is a straight street wet dream, all tagged up! Yes, life is beautiful.

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