Mr. Brainwash or MBW is the moniker of an eccentric
MBW has spent the last nine years attempting to make the ultimate documentary about graffiti art. But whilst filming many of the world’s most renowned street artists at work MBW began putting his camera aside and making art of his own. He has graduated from a few hand drawn stickers to giant billboard sized paste-ups, eventually becoming one of the most prolific street artists in California.
MBW does not fit the stereotype of your average street vandal. His artistic process chiefly consists of throwing random modern cultural icons into a blender and turning it up to eleven. The results are by turns profound, provocative and inspirational.
‘Life is beautiful’ is the first exhibition ever mounted by Mr Brainwash. It takes place in a former Hollywood studio complex and will feature over three hundred paintings, sculptures and prints alongside an installation made from 100,000 shoes and a life-size re-creation of Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’.
MBW, Life Is Beautiful
June 19 – June 22, 2008
What do you get when a mad scientist of an artist has 100,000 shoes and 20,000 books and a studio to combine them in? You’ll see at “Life is Beautiful” art show which premieres June 18th at the old CBS studios on Sunset and Gower where seven billboards stitched with MBW’s artwork are already tattooed around the building.
In the dust jacket section of Hollywood, where rotting landmark buildings and faded hopes are as common as the drop-out youths that squat on the star-stamped street corners, stands the old CBS studios that gave birth to “I Love Lucy” and countless other network hits, but one whose time has passed like the neighboring Palladium next door. Where land owners spent nine months before finally renting a space and construction crews’ creative sights are on wrecking ball demolition. It was just the type of area where a street artist arriving with a can full of spray paint and mind full of imagination could thrive upon bringing life to the bare walls and seedy locales, could move among the grey alleyways that weren’t troubled by security, could break past the shattered locks and slip through the broken windows and create something from nothing.
For the past several weeks, amid the cloak of a dimly colored structure that was once home to America’s most popular network, an artist that a New York Press dubbed Warholian, has been trashing, thrashing, ripping and destroying everything in sight, cutting cables and scaling pilings, knocking down walls and tearing off ceilings, calling in a crew of Craigslist vultures to remove all the desks, cabinets and pilings and revive the spirit of the 1930 studio which had hardwood oak floors and a balcony to watch performances. MBW or Mr. Brainwash as he is known in underground circles, shrugged off warnings from doubters, and ran on a 24-hour schedule of demolition and destruction while fueled by a diet of Red Bull and caffeine, and by the time you show up to his red carpet debut opening, “Life is Beautiful” on June 18th, the showroom face will be lifted, the exterior will be masked and an entire section of CBS’s past will be Nipped/ Tucked and replaced by a 6 foot-tall bar-coded Mona Lisa painting, showrooms stenciled with art pieces of Miles Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, Mohammed Ali or Veronica Lake, a life-size recreation of Edward Hoppers “Nighthawks”, a 8-foot tall spray can and a 12-foot tall paper bag among others.
On the corner of Sunset and Gower all can come, all will be served, all of MBW’s art can be seen but only for a week or two before the live jazz band puts away its trumpets and Mr. Brainwash closes the show curtains and then your best chance to see his work up close is by wandering the streets of LA, or by tracing his signature print on the walls of Paris, Tokyo, New York and other locales that the restless LA-based artist has tattooed in the last years.
There will be a DJ and a bartender mixing the drinks, but Mr. Brainwashes’ show will be anything but the standard art gallery merry-go-round. Movie projectors splashing videos on giant sized walls, seven spare rooms with their own separate themes, life-sized art cutouts, double-decker views, a bank vault filled with modern gold, a stolen piece of Marcel Duchamp’s artwork and a labyrinth-like showroom that snakes from pieces of artwork that are laced with sarcasm, fitted with humor and juxtaposed representations of pop culture’s icons.
MBW was recently seen in London at The Cans Festival brought together by Banksy, that has brought him acclaim and hits all over the Internet for his Madonna/Britney kissing piece. He spent the last decade recording the exploits of the biggest street artists all around the world.
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL – OPENING RECEPTION
WHEN: Wednesday June 18: 7pm-11pm
Thursday June 19: 1pm – 9pm
Friday June 20: 1pm – 9pm
Saturday June 21: 1pm – 9pm
Sunday June 22: 1pm – 5pm
WHERE: CBS Studios, Sunset and Gower, Hollywood
6121 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA