The "It's A Thing" x Mr. Brainwash Experience is Here

The "It's A Thing" x Mr. Brainwash Experience is Here

Cancer survivor Nicola Stephenson teams up with the graffiti artist to raise awareness and funds to promote a change in the narrative of the disease.

Cancer survivor Nicola Stephenson teams up with the graffiti artist to raise awareness and funds to promote a change in the narrative of the disease.

Text: Kelly Keegan

This week, V had the pleasure of attending the debut of "It’s A Thing," curated by graffiti artist Mr Brainwash. If Theirry Guetta’s mesmerizing prints and pop culture infused pieces weren’t enough to drag you away from your Netflix movies, the instillation will benefit the head and neck service at Memorial Sloan Kettering by raising funds and awareness. It’s a thing, people.

Walking into the iconic Starrett-Lehigh building, we are whisked away to the first of two floors bursting with Mr Brainwash’s custom artwork created exclusively for this cause. "'It’s A Thing'! I am so proud to be part of the mission,” he says. “Every little thing we do to bring awareness to head and neck cancer can make big things happen." The pieces created for the instillation are all inspired by vital functions made possible by the head and neck. Part interactive, typewriters line the floor begging for wordsmiths to take a seat and tap away. Oversized blow up single-colored beach balls fill the room, mimicking the larger than life gumballs sitting within a 6-foot, fully functional gumball machine. The second room is filled with what seem to be several living room setups, each with their own focuses; music, radio, television, film. We move down to the darkened exhibit on the first floor, opening the door to a space cast entirely in neon light. Words of inspiration beam down on us from all angles; "Always Smile, Passion Is All You Need, Love Is The Answer" bathe us in positivity. As we admire the sayings and soak in the general wonder of the moment, Mr Brainwash himself walks in to make sure we are all enjoying ourselves.

Guetta’s passion for his art doesn’t go unnoticed. While most would assume an introverted, introspective artist would be the perfect contrast to these vocal, provoking pieces, Guetta flits around his artistic wonderland with great vigor. "I am like a chef, a cook," he tells us, as he explains how he loves to hear what people think of his work. Little does he know, I’m checking my Bank of America app to see if I’ve got the funds to score the "I Can’t Get Enough Of You" neon sign at the upcoming auction. It’s for charity, after all!

This entire event wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible strength and dedication of cancer survivor and "It’s A Thing" founder, Nicola Stephenson. “Since my fight with head and neck cancer just two and a half years ago, I have been eager to give back to the incredible specialists at MSK that supported me throughout my journey. We are committed to raising awareness for these diseases, while also finding a way to help make the fight of others even the slightest bit easier. We are thrilled to debut this organization with the support of Mr. Brainwash, RXR and so many others. This experience will be the first of many on our quest to permanently change perceptions, raise funds, and change the narrative.”

It takes a lot to get us out from under our blankets now that the crisp, biting fall air has finally hit New York, but trust us when we tell you – "It’s A Thing" is well worth sacrificing that fifth episode of The Office.

Thierry Guetta (aka Mr. Brainwash)
Credits:

PHOTO CREDIT: Vikram Valluri/BFA.com

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