It’s Art, Bitches!
Life Is Beautiful Pink Neon Sign by Mr. Brainwash photographed at Taglialatella Galleries in the Chelsea Gallery District.
You might recall that last summer we made three or four unsuccessful attempts (before finally lucking out with our timing) to see the massive Mr. Brainwash Life is Beautiful pop-up exhibit, which was located under the High Line at 14th Street for a few months. Seriously, that shit was just never, ever open.
A new movie called BATMAN v SUPERMAN: Dawn of Justice opens today (March 25th) in theaters nationwide, but all I want to know is, in a battle between these two legendary Superheroes, how does Batman not get this Bat Ass handed to him by the Man of Steel? Because Batman, as super studly as he looks (I’d do it) has no real Super Powers. All of Batman’s tricks are gadgets he keeps in that utility belt thing of his. So, Kryptonite aside (and really, how is there even Kryptonite on the earth, after the entire planet Krypton was been completely obliterated? I ask yez.) there is just no way Superman is not picking up the Batman like he was a feather and chucking him off into outer space. Superman, FTW!
Anyway, whatever I’m missing about Kryptonite-infused arrows and whatever, I don’t care, because I really love both of these guys in tights equally. Just last night Geoffrey and I were hanging out at Taglialatella Galleries on 10th Ave checking out all kinds of cool Batman and Superman (plus, other Superheros) artworks for sale, plus free wine! Here are some of our favorite pieces from the show!
Here’s a huge piece featuring Superman By Mr. Brainwash. Ideal if you need to cover a lot of wall space.
More Photos After The Jump!
These two pieces of art featuring the likeness of the late, great David Bowie (it feels so weird to type that) were originally featured in This Post from last summer, but I decided to haul them out again for an encore. Because, clicks.
These portraits above were created from broken and carefully placed bits of vinyl LPs. See more photos at the link above!
While not necessarily a household name, Mr. Brainwash is arguably one of the most commercially successful street artists alive, and certainly one whose art panders to the lowest common denominator, Hallmark-Greeting-Card-sensibilities of the general public. What his heavily appropriated artworks lack in originality, Brainwash makes up in Chutzpah and being backed by a team who are geniuses at marketing and selling his brand. Right now — for how long, who the fuck knows — you can explore a warehouse-sized exhibit of Brainwash’s Greatest Hits at a pop-up space on West 14th Street, directly under the High Line Park. Entitled Life is Beautiful, the exhibit is the French-born, LA-based artist’s follow-up to 2010’s all-encompassing exhibit/happening, Icons; which was up for most of that year, it seems. Was it worth the wait? You betcha.
It is easy to criticize Brainwash’s Instagram-Nation-mentality visual puns and platitudes, but it is hard not to fall in love with pieces as hilariously snarky as this depiction of Tiger Woods playing through on Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World that i saw on socialproof.xyz. Talk about taking the piss out of beloved cultural icons.
Norman Rockwell’s classic Americana portraiture also gets a liberal dose of the Brainwash Treatment, hybridizing these well-loved images with modern memes and technological gadgets.
If you are my age or older, you probably grew up with Rockwell’s art in your house. In a way, this generational mash-up gives Brainwash’s art an ideal cross-over accessibility, making it a fun exhibit to bring your parents to. In fact, I daresay there is something here for everybody.
Do you like Star Wars? There are Star Wars characters in this exhibit.
Look at all this stuff! It’s like Bansky’s attic blew up in your face.
Some of the art is disguised as stuff that you can sit on. Can you sit on this? Try it and find out.
This cabinet stuffed with vintage toys appealed to my collector/hoarder mentality.
If you look long enough, you’ll probably see something you used to own, before it was purchased for a nickel from the Goodwill, or scavenged from a landfill.
Maybe you remember the celebrity portraits created from meticulously pieced-together broken vinyl LPs that made up about 50% of the Icons exhibit. Well, they’re back for an encore appearance in Life is Beautiful. Some, like this ubiquitous image of Jimi Hendrix, now have psychedelic paint thrown onto the hair, for an updated effect.
Yeah, you remember these guys.
Is it artsy recreation of a Midcentury Living Room, or is it a comfy place to rest? Again, why not see what you can get away with?
Here, Brainwash offers a few redesign ideas for your kitchen.
Renaissance Caitlyn Jenner manages to be both topical and mind blowing simultaneously.
And of course the art is nothing if not hyper-self-referential.
Another rehash from Icons but, like an old friend, always fun to see again.
I wonder if Damien Hirst gets a cut of this one?
These stylized portraits of the cast of Seinfeld are probably my favorite pieces in the show.
This one made me nostalgic for the Cow Parade. If you don’t know what that was, you should Google it.
I finally made in it to see the Life is Beautiful exhibit at 2:30 PM on a Friday, after three unsuccessful attempts; meeting a closed and locked door each of the previous times. So, if you feel lucky or have time to kill, why not see if your timing is right and you arrive on a day and time that someone with keys decides to open the door. Hours are not posted on Brainwash’s official website, nor can they be found anywhere on the storefront itself. So it is really a crap-shoot that can get old fast, depending on your tolerance for being jerked around.
Don’t forget to hashtag the shit out of your photos.
The exhibit has moved to much smaller space just a few storefronts east of its previous home, and is now a Pop Up “Store” with hours clearly posted on the doors, as seen in the photo below:
The Los Angeles-based street artist Thierry Guetta, better known as Mr Brainwash, has lost a copyright case involving a 1977 photograph of the punk rock musician Sid Vicious shot by the British photographer Dennis Morris. Guetta had claimed that the seven works he created using Morris’s black and white photograph, including one mural and one collage made of broken vinyl records, were sufficiently altered to be protected by the fair use defence, which allows for the use of copyrighted material for commentary, criticism and parody.
The federal judge rejected Guetta’s claim, saying that “most of [the] defendant’s works add certain new elements, but the overall effect of each is not transformative.” The judge also opposed the argument that “appropriation art per se” should be protected by fair use. As we went to press, the terms of the settlement, including unspecified damages, were being determined.
In 2011 Guetta lost a copyright case to Glen Friedman over his use of Friedman’s photograph of the rap group Run DMC, while last year the estate of the photographer Jim Marshall sued Guetta and Google for the unauthorised use of Marshall’s photographs of musicians. This case has not yet been decided and is due to go to trial in July.