On Sunday people queued for two to three hours to see Mr Brainwash at the Old Sorting Office, New Oxford Street. Is it Mr Brainwash or is it Banksy. I don’t know and I don’t care. The show was buzzing and it was good to be invited.
The work if not by Banksy is a direct copy of his style and subject matter. Los Angeles artist Thierry Guetta, aka Mr Brainwash, famous as the star of Banksy documentary “Exit Through The Gift Shop” was there frantically signing as many posters as there were people in the queue.
The Old Sorting Office, a derelict warehouse in the West End, is a great venue for such an exhibition. When Carl Andre’s “Pile of Bricks” was first exhibited at the Tate Gallery there was an outcry. A pile of bricks only becomes a work of art when exhibited in a gallery. When piled up in a car park they are just a pile of bricks. Put them in the Old Sorting Office and they can be a 'masterpiece' or a H & S hazard. No one cares.
‘Pity the fool’ that buys any of Mr Brainwash’s art as an investment. If you like it and can spare £26k for an original picture then great, buy it. If not, pick up one of the free posters and enjoy that instead.
The whole exhibition had the feel of a Theme Park with people rushing around taking photographs, me included. I have never seen such enthusiasm with punters posing to have their picture taken in front of the work and an enormous gorilla made from old tyres was very popular. I even saw a women swinging from its arms.
It may all be a hoax. Mr Brainwash admitted that he is “Banksy’s biggest work of art”. It all makes perfect sense at the Old Sorting Office. I’d rather see the work in an old warehouse or down a dark alley then in a smart gallery in Knightsbridge, where Banksy work has now drifted, attached to an extremely high price tag.
See it and enjoy yourself.