Balloon Girl - Life is Beautiful, 2024

by Mr Brainwash

Painting : acrylic, Stencil, mixed media

76.2 x 55.9 cm 30 x 22 inch

$14,179

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About the artwork

Type

Unique work

Signature

Hand-signed by artist

Authenticity

Sold with certificate of Authenticity from the artist

Invoice from the gallery


Medium

Painting: acrylic, Stencil, mixed media

Dimensions cm inch

76.2 x 55.9 cm 30 x 22 inch Height x Width x Depth

Framing

Not framed


Tags

Street art

Pop Art

Balloons

Banksy

Girl

Graffiti

Dark blue

Red

Artwork sold in perfect condition

Artwork location: Germany

The artwork Balloon Girl by Mr. Brainwash (Thierry Guetta) goes back to a work of his mentor with whom he also made his documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop". Girl with Balloon (also known as Balloon Girl or Girl and Balloon) is a London series of stencil paintings by graffiti artist Banksy, begun in 2002. It shows a young girl with outstretched hand pointing to a red heart-shaped balloon carried away by the wind. The first work was on Waterloo Bridge, and there were other murals around London, none of which have survived. Banksy has used variations of this design on several occasions to support social campaigns: in 2005 on the barrier in the West Bank, in 2014 on the Syrian refugee crisis, and also on the elections in Britain in 2017. In a Samsung survey in 2017, Girl with Balloon was rated the most popular artwork in the United Kingdom.

In 2018, a framed copy of the work was spontaneously shredded during an auction using a mechanical device hidden in the frame. The artist certified that he was responsible for the shredding and gave the altered work a new name: Love is in the Bin. Sotheby said it was “the first work in history ever created during a live auction.

Mr. Brainwash always refers to his mentor's artwork and interprets it in his own way. The original white background in Mr. Brainwash's work is typically colorful with collages, silkscreens, stencils, and comic books. The cheerful and light-hearted is thus made even more apparent, true to Mr. Brainwash's motto: “Life is Beautiful" or “Follow Your Dreams".

Hardly any other street art artist has experienced such a rapid rise as the Frenchman Thierry Guetta aka Mr. Brainwash, born 1966 in Garges-lès-Gonesse. His path to becoming the most successful artist of recent years is closely linked to the name Banksy and his Oscar-winning film Exit Through the Gift Shop: In this documentary Banksy encourages the then still unknown Guetta to become active as an artist himself under the pseudonym Mr. Brainwash. The rumor persists that the Frenchman Brainwash is a purely fictional person invented by Banksy and that his works are actually created by Banksy.

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About the seller

FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE • Germany

Artsper seller since 2014

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Mr Brainwash, Balloon Girl - Life is Beautiful

Mr Brainwash

United States  • 1966

Presentation

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. The artist began selling vintage clothes in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.

Mr Brainwash had a ticking in 1999 for street art, during a trip to France to visit his cousin, Space Invader, a Parisian street artist. He 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 in the art industry.


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