Mr. Brainwash, the pseudonym for Thierry Guetta was born near Paris, in Sarcelles in 1966. At the age of 15, he moved to Los Angeles with his father, brothers and sisters after their mother passed away. A video maker and pop art artist, his works are mostly in stencil or graffiti.
He took lessons at Fairfax High school for about a year, but dropped out of high school to organize Hollywood events. He began selling vintage clothes in Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
He had a ticking in 1999 for street art, during a trip to France to visit his cousin, Space Invader, a Parisian street artist. Thierry Guetta has a passion for video and therefore began filming all the breaks, accompanied by other street artists, like Shepard Fairey or Wevs. At this moment, the videos weren't meant to be seen. He began graffiti and became Mr. Brainwash. His universe is made up of Banksy's stencils and images of Andy Warhol.
In 2009, he met the British artist Banksy and helps him launch his exhibition: Barely Legal in Los Angeles, this event attracted celebrities and art dealers. The two artists decided to realize a documentary on the world of street artists, which was a mystery up till now. The images which were shot before were then shown along with Invader, Banksy and Mr. Brainwash.
Due to this collaboration, the doc-fiction “Exit through the Gift Shop” (ou Faites le Mur !) was born, nominated for an Oscar, presented in 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival. The film presents the meteoric rise of Mr. Brainwash on the street art scene, and his works being sold for phenomenal sums, like his Jim Morrison portrait sold for 100 000 $ or Charlie Chaplin for 50 000 $. After the movie's success, Mr. Brainwash's work becomes much more popular.
But the story can be seen the other way around. It was shown that Mr. Brainwash isn't a fictitious character, he did put together the movie. The fiction caught up with reality, making Mr. Brainwash a true actor of the art industry.