London Olympics gallery show for Mr Brainwash - the ‘Banksy of Los Angeles’

17:47 07 June 2012

Masked Beatles in New Oxford Street. Photo: Opera Gallery London

Masked Beatles in New Oxford Street. Photo: Opera Gallery London

Archant

Graffiti works on walls by Banksy are seen as open-air art, and now another artist is using London as his canvas.

But these colourful creations by the artist dubbed Mr Brainwash stand tall in their own right.

The Beatles partially cover their faces with coloured banners like those used by US gangs, in one picture.

The Queen stands grinning with a pot of luminous paint in her hand and a corgi in tow, in another.

Picking two giants of British culture for a dose of iconoclasm, just as the nation basks in the glow of the Diamond Jubilee ahead of the Olympic Games, shows Mr Brainwash is an artist who knows about making an impact.

Maybe the images do lack some of the satricial, subversive bite of the best of Banksy’s work, but the absurd and eye-catching humour is the same.

And if you spot similarities with the stencil murals thrown up by Banksy, it is because the pair share a real connection.

Mr Brainwash can count London’s premiére guerrilla artist as a mentor.

He was also the first person to turn a camera onto Banksy – in the film; Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Now the apprentice to poised to take centre stage himself. A show of works by Mr Brainwash is set to run during the Olympic Games, next month.

To that end, the whole of the Old Sorting Office in New Oxford Street - including the exterior walls, are being turned into art.

In Mr Brainwash’s native Los Angeles, up to 7,000 people queued to get into his Life Is Beautiful show.

What do you think of these works? How do they compare with Banksy? Tell us below.

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