Brainwashed in London

Although I had the chance to check out Mr Brainwash‘s London show on Wednesday night, the official opening wasn’t until today. I heard on Saturday that the exhibition was opening at 2pm today, and that the first 250 people would receive signed prints. When I went on Wednesday, people didn’t start queuing until about an hour before, so this morning I got up and spent a lazy morning, thinking I would aim to get down to New Oxford Street at about 1pm. However… I was browsing Facebook while having my breakfast, when I noticed a picture on Mr Brainwash’s Facebook page showing that people were already lining up! It was only 9.40am…

I hesitated, but then figured I didn’t want to miss my chance and decided to get moving. I got to New Oxford Street at about 11.30 – two and a half hours before the doors were due to open.

Mr Brainwash

The Old Sorting Office, New Oxford Street

As I was leaving my house there was an almighty clap of thunder and it started to pour down. By the time I got to New Oxford Street it was raining really heavily and the weather was quite grim. I couldn’t believe people would really be waiting outside the Old Sorting Office in that weather, but they were, and they went right round the building! I followed the queue round and finally found the end, where I waited patiently, read, and chatted with the girls in front of me.

Just before 2pm Mr Brainwash came round to check out the queue:

Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash

He then Tweeted that there were at least 1,000 people in the queue!

I had no idea if I was in the first 250 or not, but people kept counting and saying 182, 210, 266… It seemed like the number of people in front of us was going up, and I really hoped the waiting was going to pay off.

Finally, at about 3.20pm, I got in… and I was number 237! Each person got given a Mr Brainwash spray can, which they could later exchange for a print (once Mr Brainwash had finished signing them all!).

Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash

I absolutely LOVE my print, and it was well worth waiting about four hours for! People are already selling them on ebay, but mine’s not going anywhere.

There were more pieces on display today than there were on Wednesday night, and the lighting was a bit better so I took a couple of hundred photos in the end. I don’t care what anyone says – I love Mr Brainwash’s work! Here are my top ten pieces, in no particular order:

Mr Brainwash

David Bowie

Mr Brainwash

David Bowie

Mr Brainwash

Starbucks spray can

Mr Brainwash

Salvador Dali meets McDonald’s

Mr Brainwash

Follow your dreams…

Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash’s Banksy

Mr Brainwash

Art for Dummies – a take on Banksy’s famous ‘man throwing flowers’

Mr Brainwash

Life-size London taxi souvenier

Mr Brainwash

This is a clever twist on a classic painting by Edward Hopper (thanks ypldn for reminding me of the artist’s name!)

Mr Brainwash


Mr Brainwash was around the whole time, signing posters and postcards (and pretty much anything you put in front of him), but I just couldn’t bear to queue any more.

Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash

I hadn’t eaten, and they’d taken my water off me at the door (they also asked if I had any pens in my bag when I was searched at the door, but luckily they didn’t spot the ones I had stashed at the bottom – hey, I’m a writer!), so after a good look around I decided to call it a day. I think I’ll go back for another round when it’s a bit quieter though, as the exhibition is on until the end of August. You can see my photos from today here, and photos from Wednesday night here.

For more information about Mr Brainwash and his London exhibition, please visit:

31 Comments on “Brainwashed in London”

  1. […] an excellent round-up of Mr. Brainwash‘s show on Ali Muskett’s blog – quite a popular opening with somewhere around 1,000 people in the queue starting four hours […]

  2. Thanks for the tour. I’m in NY so little chance of seeing it personally, but you wrote it is such a way I feel like I tagged along.
    One little critique ,though. Unthank ypldn for telling you it was Edward Hooper. It’s Edward Hopper

    • Haikugirl says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed my post about Mr Brainwash’s exhibition. Apologies about the Edward Hopper thing – that was entirely my mistake and my typo, not ypldn’s! I’ve corrected it now. 😉

  3. rizalID says:

    good photos, sob..

  4. Congrats on the Fresh Pressing and thanks for the interesting post! Banksey doesn’t exactly paint Brainwash in the most flattering light in the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop…it’s worth checking out if you haven’t!! 🙂

    • Haikugirl says:

      Thanks for the comment! Yeah, Exit Through The Gift Shop is an interesting film. A lot of people are huge fans of Banksy and hate Mr Brainwash’s work but I’m open to both, and actually prefer Mr Brainwash most of the time…

  5. Awesome! Thanks for this!

  6. Love his stuff! Very Binksy-esc

  7. loved the photography, thanks for sharing such an experience 🙂
    Do you mind checking out my blog, its new and your opinion would mean the world to me !
    Thanks and love the posts !!

  8. Wow, amazing photography. Thanks for sharing
    Congratulation for being Freshly Pressed…

  9. cartoonmick says:

    The creative mind is a wonderful thing once it has been set loose.
    Wish I could have seen the exhibition.
    Thanks for posting the pics.

  10. zookyshirts says:

    Wild stuff … I had never heard of Mr. Brainwash before, so this was a nice introduction. I especially liked his take on Edward Hopper’s painting, updated with Mac and iPad.

    • Zookyshirts-please check out the documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. It will blow your mind and tell you all about how Mr Brainwash came to be. I guess there’s a little PT Barnum in all of us. Fascinating story. Ali, love this! Much deserved Freshly Pressed!

  11. abichica says:

    wooww!! really cool artwork!! 😀

  12. kollshi17 says:

    thank you

  13. Reblogged this on The Cheeky Diva and commented:
    Freshly Pressed AliMuskett. Well deserved. Check it out if you haven’t already.

  14. jdsell says:

    Have you ever considered that the persona of Mr. Brainwash is just a huge play of hype that Bansky came up with to prove a point about his views of the development of Street art into the common Art community ?

  15. I had never heard of him until now but his art looks amazing! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Haikugirl says:

      I’m really glad could introduce you to something new! Check out the documentary “Exit Through The Gift Shop” if you want to know more about Mr Brainwash. 🙂

  16. Martyna says:

    The collection of photos is really great 🙂 Congrats!

  17. cool! jealous that you got to see this exhibit. i like mr. brainwash’s work as well, even though i’m a huge banksy fan. i think mr. bw emulates a lot of banksy’s work (maybe you agree, maybe you don’t) but i think art is pretty cyclical. the message is all the same, so why not let more people spread the word.

    i’m actually seeing a post by you below about mr. brainwash and david guetta…that’s where i draw the line. david guetta is a fake, an exploiter and a terrible dj. not trying to be an asshole! i enjoy your writing and your images, regardless! 🙂 sorry this comment is so backwards haha!

    • Haikugirl says:

      Thanks for your comment littlecitybot! I like Banksy too, although I think I prefer Mr Brainwash’s work. Mind you, some of my friend’s think it’s the same person anyway! (Who knows!) As for David Guetta, I’m not sure I’d know a good DJ from a bad one, but I had fun that night! 😉

      • woah! mind blown! never thought about it being the same person! totally possible and would be very like banksy to do that….interesting! x

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