From August 5th London is hosting the Solo Art Show of Mr Brainwash, one of the most tattled artist of the last years, especially thanks to his role as protagonist in the Banksy’s documentary, with an Oscar Nominee, Exit Trough the Gift Shop and to his collaboration with artists like Madonna, Red Hod Chili Pepers and D&G.
The exposition discloses to be an out-and-out free entry fun fair, with gadgets and CocaCola at the exit.
As in the previous exhibition in US, Thierry Guetta, aka Mr Brainwash, doesn’t use a gallery or a museum but takes advantage of a suggestive disused factory with big open areas and a fictitious underground atmosphere.
Visitors enter enthusiastic, taking up their cameras to which nothing dodges, playing with the three dimensional works or recognising their modern idols revisited by the stencils of the artist.
If we don’t have to remember that the art and its expositions are using the most slight technics of marketing since a long time, it is interesting to see a such accurate realization of Experiential Marketing.
There is everything that can pull in, involve, strike, gratify and console the visitor-customer: two months before the exhibition opening some giant works of the artist appear on the walls of the buildings, a little later is inaugurated a small personal exposition at one of the most known gallery in London (the Opera Gallery), later the artist takes some pictures in front of the hall which will host his pieces and publishes on his website the communicate about the opening of his fist European exhibition, with even free limited edition works for the first 250 visitors and presents for all the others. Entering for free in the suggestive post-industrial building you can do everything but to drink; you can take pics with or without flash, touch a lot of pieces disposed in perfect poses to become profile photos on facebook, or you can watch inside some sheds with screen window looking for the half hidden works, you can seat on benches, on the floor, on benches sprayed with some colours, while songs from Nel blu dipinto di blu by Modugno to the recent electro-swing follow you during the exploration of the pavilion. Besides, at the end of the exposition, a sign indicates two different direction, one to the exit and one to the exit with presents (a poster of your own choice among four reproductions of Mr Brainwash’s pieces,a lot of post cards and CocaCola for all of you), to sign the guestbook and subscribe to the mailing list. And besides the postcard of the artist’s screaming face dirty of spray, with a glorious biography where we can discover too that Mr Brainwash is a benefactor of several associations which take care of the childhood protection.
The experience leaves all of us satisfied.
Visitors choose curious their posters, enthusiastic engross of postcards and speak about the poses with the gorilla realised with tires or about the Mickey Mouse statue covered with magazines and spray. The adventure in the funfair was short but intense and at the end
• It amused us
• It gave us some gifts
• It alluded to the charitable contribution
• It has left the sensation to have been in some kind of protest against the contemporary culture.
Therefore the marketing operation is a big success. However we still have to say if it was Guetta’s merit because the feeling of something already seen (we are just referring to the organization of the show and not to its content) cannot leave who, at least, has seen the Banksy’s documentary.
If in the L.A. exposition of the hidden face artist there was an elephant with (non-toxic) prints in its flesh, now we have rampant horse statues covered with spray; if the first has given some of his works to the first visitors, Thierry gives something to everybody; if the Banksy’s event was in a Warehouse, Guetta uses a post-industrial building.
However, in his European debut, Mr Brainwash quotes clearly and directly his friend and artistic benchmark. There that in one of the new works exposed we can see the famous guerrillero of the artist from Bristol which, instead of to throw a bouquet in place of a molotov, is ready to throw the book “Street art for dummies”, or we can find a piece with the Banksy’s monkey mask among some of the most important artists’ faces or, more, we can light on a huge canvas illustrating the “mentor” in the same pose maintained in the documentary.
Everything looks to refer manifestly to other street artist’s pieces and recognize the quotes increases the visitor’s pleasure.
And the experience is over, we can go out, to take the last photos to the pieces which cover the building, to put our postcards in the bag, to hug the poster and, before to go home to show it all to our friends, we have just to drink our CocaCola with the same happiness as when we are leaving an amusement park.
What to say, we feel like to have been…Out Through the Gift Shop.