Mr. Brainwash Exhibit Opens at Taglialatella Galleries

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Chaplin & Einstein at Mr. Brainwash exhibit at Taglialatella Galleries in Toronto.
Chaplin & Einstein at Mr. Brainwash exhibit at Taglialatella Galleries.

Taglialatella Galleries located at 99 Yorkville Avenue held the opening reception for their Mr. Brainwash exhibit titled Toronto is Beautiful. The event took place within the Taglialatella Galleries space and spilled out on to the front patio shared with Sofia restaurant. The packed venue was filled with excited guests wanting to get a first glimpse at the Los Angeles-based street artist Thierry Guetta’s work, who was launched to celebrity status by the 2010 documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Gallery patio at Mr. Brainwash at Taglialatella Galleries in Toronto.
Gallery patio at Mr. Brainwash at Taglialatella Galleries.

If you haven’t seen the film, Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary about the mysterious identity that surrounds international graffiti artist Banksy. The film evolved into something completely different and focused on Guetta’s path through the street art scene to the role of artist himself. It’s worth viewing if you’re a fan of art, or just intrigued by the graffiti scene itself – you even get a chance to witness the amazing Invader (a relative of Guetta) at work too!

The Taglialatella Galleries opened in 1978, and now have spaces in New York City, Palm Beach, Paris and Toronto. They feature contemporary works, but focus specifically on Pop and Street Art. They’re the perfect gallery to exhibit a Mr. Brainwash collection, as Guetta creates pieces constructed of pop culture imagery.



Mr. Brainwash collection at the Toronto is Beautiful show contain many pieces that feature the silent film comic, Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin’s image is layered over poured paint background covering some imagery typically found in graffiti art throughout the world: caution tape, stencil style lettering, and some Keith Haring characters.

Neon Chaplin at Mr. Brainwash exhibit at Taglialatella Galleries in Toronto.
Neon Chaplin at Mr. Brainwash exhibit at Taglialatella Galleries.

Another prominent visual in the Mr. Brainwash pieces are the ever so popular neon lights. I’m actually quite a fan of the With Love All Things Are Beautiful piece, as it is quite stripped down compared to the other works. The painting simply contains the title wording atop a framed mirror with a splash of paint in the background.

Chaplin & Einstein at Mr. Brainwash exhibit at Taglialatella Galleries in Toronto.
Chaplin & Einstein at Mr. Brainwash exhibit at Taglialatella Galleries.

Aside from Charlie Chaplin, another popular figure found in Mr. Brainwash pieces is Einstein. What viewers of the work will notice though is that the figures in the paintings are taken from Banksy graffiti pieces – they’re typically holding signs with messages that may feel out of context for the painting itself, but are a commentary on a larger global issue. The great thing about the Mr. Brainwash pieces is that they’re intended to be enjoyed outside of socio-political context, so fans of the pieces can purchase prints solely based on aesthetic appeal.

Basquiat inspired piece at Mr. Brainwash exhibit at Taglialatella Gallery
Basquiat inspired piece at Mr. Brainwash exhibit at Taglialatella Gallery

The price tag on the original paintings is competitive with an international market, so thankfully, fans can grab a print instead at the gallery. Speak to one of the gallery staff if you’re interested in purchasing one for yourself or a loved one!



Print Purchasing at Mr. Brainwash at Taglialatella Galleries in Toronto.
Print Purchasing at Mr. Brainwash at Taglialatella Galleries.

Walking through the crowd at the opening reception, there was one piece that immediately caught my eye, and it was due to the stripped-down nature when compared to the rest: a Basquiat-inspired portrait. I love that the Taglialatella Galleries team displayed this work against an ornate decorative wall coloured in a saturated red with gold floral print. Great contrast against the light blue linework chosen for the portrait.

The Toronto is Beautiful show is on at the Taglalatella Galleries until August 11, 2019. Make sure to visit the space and check out some of the striking graffiti-inspired imagery created by the Mr. Brainwash artist Thierry Guetta. Don’t miss it!

18 COMMENTS

  1. I haven’t seen the documentary but it seems I may have heard about this artist some time back. Something about graffiti and neon lights strike a chord. But thanks for sharing. The art works are beautiful.

  2. The Mr. Brainwash art exhibit looked like an exciting place to visit. It fascinates me that the artist Thierry Guetta always has Charlie Chaplin and or Albert Einstein in his works.

  3. I wish I was closer to this place. I would have enjoyed visiting it. Thank you for sharing this interesting info. Atleast, I could see these pics 🙂

  4. While I’m not too much of a graffiti fan, I have always enjoyed how mysterious Banksy is with his identity. Not to mention his art always speaks to me in a different way, there is always some message behind his workings. This Mr. Brainwash exhibit by Thierry Guetta does the same thing. All the pieces seem to have a different meaning to each person who views them. Thanks for sharing! I wish I could make it to the gallery, but sadly I can’t.

  5. Great to walk through the Mr. Brainwash exhibit with you. I do like his work a lot – but I’m not sure if I would like it more or less if we finally found out that the artist behind it all the pieces as well as the whole Mr. Brainwash personality is Banksy, who hired Guetta to act as Mr. Brainwash in a years-long performance piece… of if Banksky and Guetta and Mr. Brainwash are simply all the same. In any case, the art shown at Toronto is Beautiful is indeed beautiful.

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