At midnight on July 2 the city of Beverly Hills was peacefully slumbering, but Thierry Guetta was hard at work transporting a magical, multicolor menagerie to Rodeo Drive.
The French artist, who goes by the moniker Mr. Brainwash, departed at 5 a.m., less than an hour before the rosy rays of dawn struck his colorful stainless-steel sculptures collectively known as “Imagiro.”
The public art collection consists of nine larger-than-life origami animal sculptures and is a collaboration with the Rodeo Drive Committee and city of Beverly Hills.
Standing amidst luxury boutiques and high-end fashion houses, “Imagiro” invites passersby to delve into a whimsical world of folded paper and imagination come to life.
The vibrant art installation will be on display until September 25 and is intended to draw more eyeballs, foot traffic and conversation to the world-renowned thoroughfare.
“Rodeo Drive is a very special street and one of the most prestigious streets in the world, so for me to be able to install sculptures there is a very proud achievement,” Mr Brainwash told the Courier.
Mr Brainwash wants the fun-filled collection to spark joy and a warm sense of nostalgia in viewers.
“I used to make origami as a child and always loved it. The only problem is you don’t keep it because you do it on paper and so I wanted to give it a longer life,” he said. “‘Imagiro’ is the origami that can stay for years and years.”
The name “Imagiro” embodies the playful spirit of the collection as it is origami spelled backwards.
The installation includes a ten-foot-tall pink elephant weighing 2,350 lbs., a 10-foot-tall red bird weighing 2,000 lbs., and a nine-foot-tall green dog weighing 2,025 lbs. Additional creatures include a multicolor bird family, yellow llama, blue bear, blue bird and two pink bunnies.
Mr Brainwash took great delight in blowing up his origami creatures to massive proportions, but he isn’t done with “Imagiro” creations yet.
“I’m going to put them all over the world and bigger and bigger,” he said. “I want to make a giant one in Beverly Hills.”
The new installation comes in addition to four sculptures Mr Brainwash already has on permanent display in the city. This includes the “Beverly Hills is Beautiful” sculpture, “Life is Beautiful” sculpture, “Beverly Hills is Life” sculpture and a sculpture of a boy with a camera.
“Imagiro” is also located just around the corner from the Mr. Brainwash Art Museum, which is housed at the former Paley Center for Media on 465 N. Beverly Drive and is home to scores more of Mr Brainwash’s whimsical works.
The museum opened in December 2022 and has since become a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike. The museum is currently open four days a week and will soon be expanding to five, Mr Brainwash said.
“I’m very honored to have a museum in Beverly Hills,” he said. “I love Beverly Hills and I love Rodeo Drive. As an artist, I feel like it’s part of me.”