A Glimpse at Mr. Brainwash

Let’s introduce the art world’s new shiny star. The mysterious street artist has designed an album cover for Madonna, been the subject of a Sundance documentary and the art world stayed away in droves from the opening of his Icons show in New York’s West Village, but this would all seem to be just the way the artist likes it. Thierry Guetta, his real name, is French-born. He began as a documentary filmmaker, working closely with street artists, including the infamous Banksy. Over time, he became a street artist himself — the splendidly named Mr. Brainwash.

MBW’s sheer determination made him a presence in the art world. 2008’s Life Is Beautiful, and a massive show in the old CBS building on Sunset Boulevard made him a star. Last night, before going to my meeting about the World Trade Center, I got the pleasure of looking at and taking in his art work. He is a very unique artist. A portrait of Jim Morrison, constructed from broken vinyl records, had already sold for $100,000 and others were being offered for three times that. This is an artist that will be spoken of for a long time to come.