Shalom Life | March 27, 2015

All the World's a Canvas - Profiling Jewish Street Artists

Mr. Brainwash, Broken Fingaz and JR are making this world a more beautiful place

By: David Shear

Published: November 9th, 2012 in Culture » Art » News

All the World's a Canvas - Profiling Jewish Street Artists

Street artists are known for valuing their anonymity, for fear of getting arrested. Their art - whether it’s created by stencils, photography, LEDs, stickers, street installations or spray paint - is often beautiful and carries a strong political message, but is presented on private property, and often without permission.

This lack of information makes it difficult to find out the most minuet personal details about the most famous street artists but we were able to find three world-class artists with Jewish background representing the most powerful artistic platform for reaching the public.

Mr. Brainwash


The most polarizing of the three artists featured, Mr. Brainwash is the nickname of Paris born, Los Angeles based filmmaker and street artist Thierry Guetta.

MBW, as his name is often stylized, first hit the public scene in the Banksy-directed film Exit Through the Gift Shop, where MBW started off as Mr. Guetta, a clothing store owner and rabid videographer who would film everything happening around him at all times. This passion for filming led him to meet Banksy, one of the world’s most famous street artists, and eventually, through his time spent with Banksy and a suggestion made by the artist, Guetta took up the moniker MBW and became an artist himself.


Madonna mural, Los Angeles

The polarization of MBW mostly comes form the film, which depicts a person who knows little about art but does know how to market himself. Sadly, that can be said about many successful artists today, so MBW is not alone. What MBW does know is what people like, and although he is rarely involved in the physical creation of the pieces, he does provide the ideas to his team of artists and graphic designers who take those ideas and make them reality.

And that reality often translates into beautiful art. Mostly pop-culture infused, not overly political, but often cheeky and playful, MBW uses cultural icons like Einstein, Superman, Chaplin and Bob Marley and mixes them with Warhol-ian like, new media styles to create pieces that are fetching in the six figures.


Charlie Chaplin 'Life is Beautiful'

While MBW’s real name is known, many have speculated that MBW is nothing more than a hoax, a prank brought on by Banksy himself. Others have even gone as far as to speculate that MBW is in fact Banksy, since his face and voice have never been made public. What is for sure, is that MBW has now become an international star, for better or worse, and is the most well known Jewish street artist in the world.

Click next to read about Broken Fingaz and JR

It's Official: Anthony Bourdain Is Writing Another Graphic Novel It's Official: Anthony Bourdain Is Writing Another Graphic Novel TrendingRichard Gere Is Filming in the Holy Land Next Week Richard Gere Is Filming in the Holy Land Next Week TrendingTop 20 Under 40: Nicola Spunt Top 20 Under 40: Nicola Spunt Trending
 

Facebook Integrates Israeli App into Messenger

March 26, 2015 | By NoCamels Team
Facebook Integrates Israeli App into Messenger

Social media giant incorporates Magisto, an app that turns photos and videos into a short animated film

Read More

Toronto's Iconic Pancer’s Deli To Reopen

March 26, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Toronto's Iconic Pancer’s Deli To Reopen

The deli, which was sold five years ago and closed earlier this year, is back in Pancer's hands and won't be leaving them any time soon

Read More

Israeli Scientists Accurately Determine The Length Of A Day On Saturn

March 26, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Israeli Scientists Accurately Determine The Length Of A Day On Saturn

Using a new technique, a team of scientists from the Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute have found a way to study the passing of time in other planets of the solar system

Read More

Harvey Weinstein Takes Home Humanitarian Award, Urges Jews To Kick anti-Semites "in the Ass”

March 26, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Harvey Weinstein Takes Home Humanitarian Award, Urges Jews To Kick anti-Semites "in the Ass”

During his acceptance speech during the Simon Wiesenthal Center's National Tribute Dinner, Weinstein asked people to stand up against violence and oppression

Read More

Meet Shalom Life's Top 20 Under 40, Class of 2015

March 26, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Meet Shalom Life's Top 20 Under 40, Class of 2015

Profiling the best and the brightest of Jewish Toronto

Read More

Jason Segel Tapped to Write/Direct New 'Lego' Movie

March 26, 2015 | By Sy Berg
Jason Segel Tapped to Write/Direct New 'Lego' Movie

Segel, who helped Disney revive 'The Muppets', will work alongside 'Iron Man 3' writer Drew Pearce

Read More

Parents, Widow of Fallen IDF Soldier Battle Over Custody of His Sperm

March 26, 2015 | By Yoram Yarkoni
Parents, Widow of Fallen IDF Soldier Battle Over Custody of His Sperm

Groundbreaking ruling awards parents of Israeli soldier right to use his sperm to father a child, despite his widow's objections

Read More

Chicago Tribune Cartoon Paints Bibi As Murderous Warmonger

March 26, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Chicago Tribune Cartoon Paints Bibi As Murderous Warmonger

The publication allowed "the mainstreaming of incendiary lies about the leader of the Jewish state," says Simon Wiesenthal Center

Read More

More Headlines