The nice thing about street art is that, for 99% of the people who look at it (the people who see it on the street and not on blogs like this one), there’s not market consideration about “how much is that worth?” or anything like that. But then there’s the 1% of us (the people who follow blogs and write and forums and so on) who do see the art market side of street art. Sometimes the art market provides opportunities for Boxi, Steve Powers and other artists can show up in London and paintwalls with permission and free paint. Other times, the art market makes me want to cry.
This week, Philips de Pury had a few pieces in their London day auction by low-brow and street artists. Street Art Is Dead notes that two Mr. Brainwash pieces sold for £42,000 and £75,000 even though the estimates were already a seemingly insane £7-9,000 and £15-20,000 respectively. What makes those results even more disgusting is when you compare them to other results in that same sale:
And then the two most surprising results were that both a Margaret Kilgallen cluster and an old Barry McGee piece failed to sell at all! While this particular Kilgallen cluster has been floating around for quite a while, it’s not a bad piece and Kilgallen’s art is almost impossible to find for sale.
Similarly, while it doesn’t outrage me quite as much, I don’t exactly understand why this Banksy sold for $75,000. It’s just not a strong image.
The art market makes no sense and sometimes I wish it would just go away.
This link post is definitely going to be a weekly thing. Hopefully it will allow me to link to things that I just haven’t had the time to cover here on the blog, my Twitter or Vandalog’s Facebook page. So here’s what you may have missed in street art this week:
Nychos’ solo show at Pure Evil Gallery (in cooperation with End of The Line) opened on Thursday. Go here for the press release sort of info or go here for photos from the opening.
That I May See, Matt Small’s latest solo show, opened last week at Black Rat Projects and it looks absolutely stunning. My family and I can’t thank Matt enough for his support of the Robert Shitima School in Zambia, which is where Matt and Black Rat Press have decided to donate 40% of the proceeds from this show.
OFFSET has once again put together an interesting conference of creatives who will be speaking next month (October 1st-3rd) in Dublin. OFFSET 2010 will have presentations from Gary Baseman, Steve Powers, Marc and Sara Schiller of Wooster Collective and many more. Early bird tickets are available online for 150 euros (with discounts for students thankfully).
Just Seeds has put together Resourced, a set for political posters that you can download and print at home. There are designs by Gaia, Armsrock, Chris Stain, Josh MacPhee and many more artists.
When I first heard about JR’s new Unframed project, I didn’t really care for it. Basically, JR is wheatpasting other photographers (often famous) photographs around in cities. To me, this sort came out of left field. I don’t mind when Blek le Rat does similar things, but with JR, I always liked the stories behind the photos as much as the images themselves. I thought that with Unframed, that aspect of the art would go away. Luckily, Angelo at FAME Festival reassured me in an email and said once I learned more about the project, these would be just as interesting as the rest of JR’s art. Because I trust Angelo, I waited and didn’t write anything about Unframed or JR’s piece at FAME Festival. Earlier this week, Hi-Fructose’s blog posted a better explanation of the project as well as some photos of Unframed taking place in Switzerland. As usual, Angelo was right and after reading that post on Hi-Fructose, I’ve been convinced about Unframed.
I’ve noticed a number of links piling up over the past few days, so it’s time for one of my link compiling posts. Oh and thanks to C-Monster for featuring Vandalog on today’s Daily Digest (the probably superior link post series that I try to emulate a bit from time to time).
Artnet.com is having an online urban art auction, which began July 7th and runs through July 23rd. The catalogue contains works by many of the major names in the scene, from the 80s through today, such as Dondi, Crash, Haring, Basquiat, Barry McGee, Banksy, Nick Walker, Faile and Shepard Fairey. There are also some strange, albeit nice, inclusions such as Mr. and Jim Houser, as well as some weaker urban choices, but on the whole this auction is definitely worth checking out as there is a good range of pieces in it.
It is also quite well-presented and easy to use; you can either scroll the catalogue page by page or search by artist. The biographical information is nice to have and I like the inclusion of sales results for comparable work – this is particularly handy if you are considering placing a bid.
I have highlighted a few of my personal favorites. Clicking on the image will take you to the lot.