Thierry Guetta is no stranger to controversy. His ascent to artist status for one, has been called into question considering he has no real artistic background as it were, whatever that is. Some argue if he is the ever elusive Banksy even. All that aside, his first European exhibition; Life is Beautiful, held in London definitely got people talking; that humongous street art style painting of Kate Moss’s face on just off Tottenham Court Road, guaranteed attention. Whatever that talk is, Guetta’s message is sublime, powerful and simple; Be yourself and never give up on who you are or what you want to become. And dreams do come true, you just have to be willing to make something of them and they’ll take you to where you’re meant to be…at least that’s what I got from it. In some parts. Other parts were just really cool pictures, a lot of paint and popular cultural references.
In his incorporation of pop culture icons living and dead, he incites a questioning thought on what makes a person an icon; individuality? Popularity? Wealth? The Queen and are hubby are included in this exhibition, Madonna, President Obama, the Beatles, Posh and Becks, in a unique Posh and Becks style art form, (quite funny) Miles Davis, Jimmy Hendrix…so the conclusion is subjective.
In response to his critics possibly, he poses and answers the question; what is Art? Art is subjective, just because it doesn’t fit into the mode of every other person’s vision doesn’t mean its not art. it is YOUR ART. So there.
A show packed with cliche sayings and hearts; “follow your dreams”, spray painted by a chimp sitting on a Coca-Cola crate, Ghandi holding a plaque with the saying; “where there is love there is life”, and not to forget Mickey Mouse…the Positive vibes it elucidates, although sometimes ironic, makes this a fun show to see. You should go see it.
And in the end the artist, whether he is Banksy or Thierry Guetta, one and the same or different, the bottom line remains, he wants us to get this message…
It really is.
Life is Beautiful by Mr Brainwash Old Sorting office Tottenham Court Road London. Until 7th of September 2012. Admission is Free