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Mr. Brainwash

Rescue, 2019

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Lot 41
Mixed media on paper
30.0 x 22.5 in (76.2 x 57.1 cm)
Signed on recto; signed, dated, inscribed, and thumb-printed on verso; accompanied by signed, dated, serialized, and thumb-printed certificate of authenticity


This work ships from the United States.


Commemorating the 500th year of the passing of Leonardo Da Vinci, the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa gets Brainwashed. The piece incorporates two major and recurring themes central to the body of Mr. Brainwash’s work, celebrity and consumerism. Brainwash, as one of the most celebrated artists of today pays homage to Da Vinci, arguably the most celebrated artist of all time. In this unique piece, the iconic image of the Mona Lisa is depicted holding a Jeff Koons 'Balloon Dog', which when originally auctioned commanded the highest price ever paid for a work of art from a living artist. As described by Koons, the Balloon Dog is symbolic of life, “We are all balloons. You take a breath and you inhale, it’s an optimism. You exhale, and it’s kind of a symbol of death.” In combination, the images of the Mona Lisa and Balloon Dog, pay homage to the 1519 passing of Da Vinci the artist and celebrate the everlasting life of his body of work.

Additional Info

About Mr. Brainwash

The psuedonym of Thierry Guetta (French, b. 1966), Mr. Brainwash is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and Pop artist. Recognized for adding graffiti elements to well-known cultural images and positive messages, he first entered the art scene in 2008 with his solo exhibition ‘Life is Beautiful.’ His work quickly rose to prominence after being featured in Banksy’s documentary ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop,’ which revealed Banksy’s encouragement of Guetta to become an artist. Though rumors circulated that both artists are one and the same, Guetta is much more conspicuous than his mentor and his work exudes playfulness and positivity, even when questioning cultural norms.