Is Mr. Brainwash Banksy? | The Sun

OVER the years there has been much talk about who the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy really is.

As speculation continues to grow, many names have been thrown into the hat – one being Mr. Brainwash.

Who is Mr. Brainwash?

Mr. Brainwash – born Thierry Guetta in France on January 31, 1966 – is a Los Angeles-based street artist.

Over the years his work has featured in adverts for top brands like Mercedes and Nike.

He even designed the centenary Times Square billboard for Coca-Cola in New York.

Guetta's work doesn't end there, as he is also responsible for the album covers for Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson and Madonna.

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The in-demand star – who owns his own gallery and museum – has also collaborated on charity projects with Michelle Obama and the Pope.

The street artist has also had his work featured on fashion collaborations.

He helped launch Sunglass Hut's Signature Artists Series with a limited edition, one-of-a-kind run of Aviator and Wayfarer sunglasses by Ray Ban.

Talking about how he came up with the name "Mr. Brainwash", Guetta told Inside Hook that the moniker is a comment on both the state of culture, and his involvement in it.

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He said: “Really we’re all brainwashed, right? Every one of us — the shoes you wear, the food you eat, the TV you watch … we’re in a world of brainwashing.

“I’m someone who wants to brainwash in a good way to bring you something that makes you feel good.”

Is Mr. Brainwash Banksy?

Mr. Brainwash has never confirmed if he is Banksy – whose real identity remains a mystery – but nor has he denied it.

A number of art critics over the years have said that the French artist's work strongly emulates the styles and concepts of the allusive graffiti artist.

In fact, it is reported that Guetta was discovered by Banksy, after they met through his cousin, fellow street artist Invader.

Mr. Brainwash is often asked if he is indeed the famous anonymous artist.

“Well, when you say ‘you are [Banksy],’ they say, ‘no you’re not.’ And when you say, ‘I’m not,’ they say. ‘Yeah, sure you are.’ So, you know what, f*** it,” Guetta cryptically told Inside Hook. “They can find out when all is revealed. In life everything comes out in the end. Now is not the right time, but time will tell. And it will be a big surprise. I’m not being cryptic …”

Guetta was also asked about the similarities between his work, and Banksy's, to which he replied: "When I take influence from other artists’ work, for me it’s more like an homage.

"It’s something good. For sure these are artists that I admire and love.

"And it’s not as though you don’t know it’s my work. I’m more a pop artist than anything else — pop as in popular.

"Because I want art to have an influence on people."

He added: "That’s the way it should be, without the labels, though the art world is always trying to give it labels.

"It’s just art that speaks to some people and doesn’t speak to other people.”

Guetta's connection to Banksy has definitely helped boost his bank balance over the years – he has an estimated net worth of $25M (£20M).

Talking about his wealth, Guetta said: “I really don’t think that money has changed me because I feel rich on the inside and I know you can’t buy that.

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“Money physically, well that comes and goes.

"Sure, it’s better to have it than not but if you said ‘I’ll give you all the money in the world but take the richness you feel inside of you,’ well, that’s deal I wouldn’t accept.”

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