Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Ah, Brainwash.

One of my favorite parts of urban living is the ever-presence of street art. In New York we are lucky enough to have some of the world's best streetsters bombing the city on a regular basis. So much of the graffiti here is clever and even, dare I say, poetic. There's skill to the max on view on a regular basis, and it's usually conveyed with sly wit and smart humor. Most of the pieces have so much commentary wrapped up in something that's simply cool to look at. Last night I passed a piece that paired classic Marilyn Monroe poses with two faces of the new pop cult.

In giant paste-ups Angelina Jolie and Madonna were layered into Marilyn busts. The pieces were tall and towering over the cobbled street corner home. When I got to my home, I did a little research and found the piece on the awesome street art site, Streetsy. The work belongs to French filmmaker turned graffiti maverick Mr. Brainwash. Here's a sampling of his stuff:

Mr. Brainwash is not without his detractors. He is often criticized for being a copycat. He began his artistic endeavors as a cameraman/filmmaker following street artists in an attempt to make the ultimate graffiti documentary. In the process he got bitten with the bombing bug and started stealthily pasting stencils of his own onto buildings. His work quotes others, like Banksy and Warhol, with a heavy hand. But I think there's room on the block for more than one artist. So, keep your eyes peeled for giant pop figures weilding clever messages and decide for yourself whether you want to be brainwashed or not.

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