Interview with a “street art expert”

February 17th, 2014 | By | 6 Comments »
Banksy Bandaged

“Bandaged Heart Balloon”. Photo courtesy of FAAM.

On Tuesday afternoon, Fine Art Auctions Miami (FAAM) will be hosting an auction that includes pieces by BanksyFaileKenny Scharf, BambiAiko and Terror161/J.SON that have been pulled (sawed, ripped, unscrewed, hammered off, etc.) from the street and brought to the auction house in Miami. Two pieces from Banksy’s recent NYC residency “Better Out Than In” are up for auction, including a car door from the Crazy Horse installation, and the bandaged heart balloon. You can have a look at the full catalog here (warning: it’s a PDF) or go here to follow the auction live.

Some of you might be thinking “Hey, those were for the public to enjoy!” or “Why should an unaffiliated auction house profit from the work/legal risks of these artists?” Good questions. But consider this… Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a literal piece of New York City from the safety of their home?

Ethical qualms aside, FAAM contacted Vandalog with an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up: An interview with the auction house’s official “street art expert” Sebastien Laboureau of Moonstar Fine Art Advisors. Since many published authors and curators with extensive knowledge of street art and graffiti still don’t consider themselves experts, I decided to see what I could learn from a real street art expert…

Caroline Caldwell: At what point would a street artist be considered a ‘sell out’? If possible, provide examples.

Sebastien Laboureau, Street Art Expert: Art has a market, and street artists also sell their works, as long as artists stay true to their personal style and create from their hearts the concept does not apply. Recently many works from street artists sell at auctions, and in galleries because this art is contemporary and talks to a wide audience and public. Banksy is the leading street artist, and he sells hundreds of works everywhere in the world every year at increasing prices.

CC: The Banksy’s “Bandaged Heart Balloon” from her residency in New York City is a portion of the wall that was physically removed and transported to Miami. How do you suggest or imagine people display large pieces like this in their homes?

Expert: Street art is amazing in the way that there is no set medium, street artists can work on canvas, metal, walls, doors. The beauty of it is to keep it in its original medium, we find that collectors enjoy buying and displaying street art because it feels like the work is created in their home.

What "" might look like in a home. Photo illustration by RJ Rushmore, using photos courtesy of FAAM and by Bart Speelman.

What “Crazy Horse Car Door” might look in a home. Photo illustration by RJ Rushmore, using photos courtesy of FAAM and by Bart Speelman.

CC: How much of the art available in this auction was actually relocated from the street to the auction house?

Expert: Quite a few came directly from the streets, including two Banksy walls, a metal roll down gate by Kenny Scharf, and another large security gate by Lady Aiko & Terror 161. The great thing about these works is most of them were created in the street and will live a second life now. They will be preserved for eternity.

CC: If a street artist paints work on a canvas, should it be considered ‘street art’ or just ‘art’?

Expert: I do not feel the need to differentiate between the two, all is art, street art is art regardless medium it is created on.

CC: What is the difference between a ‘street art’ and a mural?

Expert: Street art is a style of painting and a mural is large scale work done on a building, one is genre and other is a medium.

"Kissing Coppers"

“Kissing Coppers”. Photo courtesy of FAAM.

CC: Who was the first authentic street artist to refer to themselves as a “street artist”?

Expert: The reality is that street art has always been around us. Some say street art was born in the late 70’s in New York City through graffiti art in public places. Some called it vandalism, some are still calling it vandalism… THIS IS ART!

CC: Should street artists in New York have NYC at the end of their Instagram handle?

Expert: Street artists should have any handle they please, to show where they have come from or where they are working.  New York City is very active in street art, but Miami has also become a street art mecca, with so many murals painted over the past year with an incredible quality and concentration in the Wynwood District. Street art is everywhere, in the London suburbs, in Barcelona, Paris, everywhere! And even in museums now.

CC: Would it be advantageous for street artists to align their personal brands with current trends in urban wear?

Expert: Historically, street art has been linked to hip hop. Fashion has always been intertwined with art. There is no limitation into what can and should be done!

CC: Is illegal street art graffiti?

Expert: It is still illegal in many parts and areas of the world, but more and more artists have been granted areas where they can create their works. Art is above any law, as art is life! Art pertains to our everyday life, and everywhere I look when I see art I see beauty.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 3.40.00 PM

Lady Aiko & Terror 161 on a metal gate originally located on the street in Wynwood, Miami. Photo courtesy of FAAM.

CC: Should there be a different word for street artists who are female?

Expert: There are more and more female street artists. We have great examples at our auction including Bambi and Swoon. Swoon has a museum show set-up in the Brooklyn Museum in April. Kazilla is a very talented street artist from the Wynwood who will be showing works and has brought local street artists together for the exhibition. There are many others! Once again, it makes no difference! ART IS ART!

CC: How long do you need to do the street arts before you’re considered a street artist?

Expert: There is no lead-time. A street artist is an artist that happens to use the streets as their canvas, there is no school. Some artists are better than others, but once again, there is no diploma to become a street artist!

CC: What’s the best city to get blog coverage in?

Expert: Miami is now becoming the street art mecca! But street art is everywhere in the world now.

Photos courtesy of Fine Art Auctions Miami (FAAM) and photo illustration by RJ Rushmore, featuring photos courtesy of FAAM and by Bart Speelman


Category: Auctions, Featured Posts, Interview | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Weird, kinda funny, maybe awesome: the art of Don’t Fret.

December 30th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

sunbather

This year, Chicago-based street artist Don’t Fret made it down to Miami for Art Basel and the surrounding street art and graffiti free-for-all. Here are a few of his pieces from down there. Don’t Fret is funny, but not the kind of witty, buzz icon, media satire type of humor that I’m accustomed to seeing in street art. It’s nice to see an artist focusing more on a simple concept than on displaying talent, but also not really focusing on concept that much either. I don’t know how much of an artistic background Don’t Fret had before he started doing street art, but he’s been at this for a few years and he definitely turns heads.

goinbroke

banana

car

thyme

Photos by Don’t Fret


Category: Photos | Tags: ,

Wild Style Wednesday! Featuring Klughaus at Miami Art Basel

December 12th, 2012 | By | 2 Comments »
1-smart-klug

DCEVE Smart Crew

There’s something a little awkward about “graffiti” on canvas. The work may look great but it still feels like there is a crucial element missing or out of place…

New York City’s Klughaus Gallery wanted to showcase graffiti in Miami this year the way it was intended to be shown: outdoors on the side of trucks. The graffiti artists were forced into a “natural” state of mind since they went at it knowing that their work would be painted over in the next 24 hours and would be on display for less time than it took them to paint. The work was displayed while cruising down the main streets of Wynwood and around a lot of the Art Basel-gallery-action in Miami Beach. Awesome concept.

KAPUT & LARGE VTS

Kaput & Large VTS

OIL (RIP) by JUNE, DZEE character by OBLVN

OIL (RIP) by June, DZEE character by OBLVN

Topher BBT Smart Crew

Toper BBT Smart Crew

Vor138 DBI

Vor138 DBI

Stae2 GFR

Stae2 GFR

Photos by Klughaus Gallery


Category: Photos | Tags: , , , ,

Marianne Nems presents Ugly Kid Gumo, Benoit Debbane, LA2 & more @ Miami’s Fountain Art Fair

December 1st, 2011 | By | No Comments »

I met Marianne Nems back in June at the East Village’s Dorian Grey Gallery, where she introduced me to the impassioned work of French graffiti artist, Ugly Kid Gumo.  For the next three days, Marianne will be at the Fountain Art Fair, 2505 North Miami Ave. @ 25th St. exhibiting work by Ugly Kid Gumo and others. Among the images that she shared, I’m particularly intrigued by the artwork of Benoit Debbane, the Lebanese painter whose work first surfaced on the walls of Beirut in the 1990’s.  Another highlight are new works by Angel Ortiz aka LA2, who recently graced New York City’s East Village with a huge mural.

"Adrenaline" by Ugly Kid Gumo

"The Darkness Rising" by Benoit Debbane

LA2's recent mural in the East Village

Photos courtesy of Marianne Nems


Category: Art Fairs | Tags: , , , , , ,

The London Police in Miami

March 23rd, 2010 | By | No Comments »

When TLP hit a wall, they do it in style and as big as they possibly can. Here’s their most recent outdoor piece, painted in Miami prior to their show at The BLDG in Louisville.

Chaz and Bob also made sure to document the process through video, so check them out in action below.

Via Unurth/Wooster Collective.

– Elisa


Category: Art News, Photos | Tags: ,

Wynwood Walls Update: osgemeos/Nina/Finok

December 2nd, 2009 | By | 4 Comments »

osgemeos/nina/finok

Things are really taking shape at the osgemeos/Nina/Finok wall on NW 2nd Ave here in Miami. If you liked the twins’ work in NYC back in the summer (also made possible by Deitch Projects and Goldman Properties), you are going to love this. Check out more progress shots of the foursome in action below!

finok

nina/osgemeos

nina

finok

nina

nina/osgemeos/finok

finok

nina

nina


Category: Featured Posts, Photos | Tags: , , , ,