Transcending Boundaries: International Modern and Contemporary Art

Live Virtual Auction, 25 October 2023

International Modern and Contemporary Art
  • Mr Brainwash; Madonna
  • Mr Brainwash; Madonna
  • Mr Brainwash; Madonna

Lot Estimate
ZAR 900 000 - 1 200 000
Cape Town
Make an Offer
The item was unsold and may still be available

About this Item

French 1966-

signed; signed, dated 2009, numbered 'NO D67930944A' and inscribed 'Life is Beautiful' on the reverse

screenprint and spraypaint on canvas
120 by 120cm excluding frame; 127 by 127 by 8cm including frame


The current lot is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and the DVD Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film.

Madonna, renowned for her keen understanding of the ever-changing landscape of art and contemporary culture, selected Mr. Brainwash to create the cover art for her third greatest hits album, Celebration. Mr. Brainwash draws inspiration from prominent artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Banksy, which is notable in the present lot.

Thierry Guetta, whose professional moniker is Mr Brainwash, is a French-born artist who has been based in Los Angeles since he was a teenager. He previously owned a vintage clothing store and was an amateur videographer who became fascinated by street art in 1999 after discovering the secret identity of his cousin, the anonymous French street artist Invader. He filmed Invader at work and, upon returning to the States, Guetta found a new subject in Shepard Fairey and eventually met the elusive Banksy. It was soon after this meeting that Guetta began creating his own art, a combination of street art and pop art, and assumed the pseudonym of Mr Brainwash. His successful 2008 debut exhibition titled Life is Beautiful became the focus of the Oscar-nominated Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) and his popularity grew. He has held numerous exhibitions including pop-ups at Art Basel Miami, created commemorative 9/11 murals in New York City, and entered into creative partnerships with Coca-Cola and Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee. Madonna, Rick Ross, and Kygo have each commissioned him to create album covers and his work can be seen in the TV shows Billions, Shameless, and The Kardashians.


Acquired from the artist, 34 Fine Art, Cape Town.

Strauss & Co, Cape Town, 13 April 2021, lot 537.

View all Mr Brainwash lots for sale in this auction

Other lots that might interest you
Anthony Fry; Dancers
Anthony Fry
ZAR 14 000 - 18 000
Gaston de Vel; Figure on a Road
Gaston de Vel
Figure on a Road
ZAR 5 000 - 7 000
Lim Yew Kuan; Harbour
Lim Yew Kuan
ZAR 50 000 - 70 000
Montserrat Gudiol Corominas; Meternidad (Maternity)
Montserrat Gudiol Corominas
Meternidad (Maternity)
ZAR 60 000 - 80 000
Mr Brainwash; Louis Armstrong
Mr Brainwash
Louis Armstrong
ZAR 20 000 - 30 000
David Shepherd; Three Elephants
David Shepherd
Three Elephants
ZAR 120 000 - 160 000