“There is no judgment for art. It is whatever you think it is. I think I see art everywhere…It depends how your heart opens to it.”
After appearing in Banksy’s Oscar nominated film, ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’, Mr Brainwash has achieved worldwide recognition for his subversion of classical images. Often layered with paint splatters, stencilled mottos and pop culture icons, his work is a visually arresting melting point of influences. “When I lost my mother around 10/11 years old, I started looking for things to remember, so I became really visual and artistic. It became brainwashing for me, objects and things and people. Less talk and more images.”
Initially carving out a name for himself as a prominent member in the street art movement- “the street is open to everyone, it's the biggest gallery we can get, with very few rules” – Mr Brainwash has long been motivated by the credence that “art shouldn’t be serious.” Believing his job as an artist is to promote positivity, ideas of freedom and love form the basis of all of his works and many of his artworks often repeat the same few mantras: ‘Life is Beautiful’; ‘Never, Never Give Up’ and ‘Follow Your Dreams.’ “I’m not too much of a snob about the art world, I’m just somebody who makes it fun.”
Known for recreating famous works by other artists such as Picasso and Matisse to Jeff Koons and Keith Haring, Mr Brainwash’s work exists in a paradigm between the past and the present; suspending time for every viewer that stands before his work. “I’m looking at the past and I’m taking from the past, but I’m also bringing something new back and trying to give it another way of being. Art for me is all about freedom, that freedom of expression.”
Debuting his first show in 2008 in Los Angeles, Mr Brainwash has gone on to have successful solo shows at Taglialatella Gallery in New York and Maddox Gallery in London. Now acquired by major collectors and auction houses, in 2009, Madonna commissioned him to design the cover of her greatest hits compilation, ‘Celebration' and in 2011, he was personally selected by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to direct their album launch campaign.
Investors who put their faith in Mr Brainwash saw an average return of 17% since 2017 – considerably more than those who chose the FTSE100.