MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – Thousands of art lovers are converging on Art Basel Miami Beach this weekend. The main event takes place inside the massive Miami Beach Convention Center, but outside the convention center, a popular underground street artist has been working around the clock rolling out his own massive underground art show.
The artist, who oddly resembles the character ‘Alan’ from the movie “The Hangover”, goes by the name “Mr. Brainwash.” The name is derived from his art.
“It’s images that has brainwashed us. You are going to know Mickey Mouse. You’re going to know Alfred Hitchcock. You are going to know Dali, you’re going to know Picasso.” he explained to CBS4’s David Sutta.
“Mr. Brainwash”, whose real name is Thiery Guetta, got his start as a graffiti artist in Los Angeles. He started using the name while painting his art on the streets. The art could have landed him in jail but using the alias he felt protected him.
Guetta has come out of the shadows as his work has received worldwide attention and even money. More than a thousand “Super Obamas” featuring President Barrack Obama in a superman costume were placed all over Los Angeles three months before his election. To get one framed now fetches $25,000. Many celebrities have taken notice as well. He’s designed album art for Madonna.
“I love what I do. Money is not important,” according to Guetta.
While most artists have been planning their display for months, “Mr. Brainwash” decided to do this show last month.
“Two and half to three weeks ago,” he said. When asked if was crazy he said “I am crazy. That’s definitely real.”
In a fury of non-stop work, he’s been building an art display the size of some of the satellite fairs around town. He’s filling up 30,000 square feet with of iconic images we all recognize, with a spin from Mr. Brainwash. In addition, he’s hanging art on the outside the building.
“In two and half weeks everything will be finished. I hope.”
It’s a bold move for the rebel graffiti artist who is now trying to appeal to mainstream art lovers.
Mr. Brainwash’s show opened Thursday and will likely last a little bit longer than Art Basel. His show is free and located on 21st Street and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach.