So, there was this “happening” last week, but first a little background. Many of you have probably seen the movie “Exit Through the Gift Shop”. If you haven’t and you have any interest at all in street art it is an intriguing piece and well worth your time.
Whether you believe it is a factual documentary or a fictional creation out of the mind of street artist, Banksy, it makes a “character” out of it’s leading man, Thierry Guetta, now forever known as Mr. Brainwash. Is he a figment of the imagination? Is he a creation? Is he a well thought out hoax on the art world and world at large? Who really knows, (well he and Banksy, Shepard Fairey and a few others have a clue) but in the end, does it matter? In one way or another he has put in his time, paid a few dues and still gets out there on the street. If his message is juvenile or derivative again, does it really matter. Art is subjective we all see what we want to see. Who becomes huge, who makes it and sees the big bucks, again, extremely fickle and based on so many factors there is no clear cut path to success. Does a piece make you feel something? Sometimes even the feeling of disgust is worthy of a moment of thought.
So with that, on to the present, Mr. Brainwash was in town last week and Century 21 became his palette, a tribute to 9-11 his goal. A goal he achieved albeit with the usual critics and naysayers in full force. I found out he was working after his first night. Went downtown during the day and saw that the image was incomplete and he had more work to do.
So back downtown at midnight to see if we could catch the man in action. The subway ride was interesting and I could write a whole post about Mr. Asscrackman and the other fellow citizens who obviously only come out at night, but that is for another day. When we arrived we caught the installation team in full force.
And the man himself, Mr. Brainwash, MBW on site.
The paper panels waiting to be attached to the wall.
A plan of the entire project was on view as a guide.
And about Thierry himself; what a burst of pure positive energy, impossible to not feel his exuberance. He believes in what he is doing, believes in his message and every fiber of his being projects that when you meet him in person. We hung around for a couple of hours and watched him at work. Always a cigarette in his hand and always in action, never still.
Firefighters from out of state here for the 9-11 ceremonies stopped by at one point.
At about 2 in the morning my need for bed took us home but we came back the next morning to see the finished piece.
And luck would have it.. as we turned to leave I spotted the man himself.. no sleep, running on fumes and still willing to give a hug, a smile and mug for a shot or two. So, real or fictional, schlock or DaVinci, I am on Brainwash’s team just for the sheer fun of it all.
Read the other day that Thierry so loves New York he has decided to make it his home 6 months out of the year. His goal? To buy a building in SoHo to use as a residence, studio and open art space.
My dream actually… To buy a big building live on the top floor and rent the lower floors out as studio live/work spaces for artists for little to no money as long as they do work with the community and keep my building covered with art… pipe dream, but hey, might as well put it out into the Universe, never know what could happen.
So next time then…