Has the Market for Street Art Matured in Paris? – artmarketblog.com
The link between high auction prices, gallery representation and career longevity all suggest that the market for street art has reached a point of maturity. This market maturation was on display during a recent auction held in Paris where works by some of the genre’s most admired and respected artists sold for extremely high prices. What all the most successful artists had in common was age and experience as well as a strong link to the commercial gallery sector. Street art, it seems, has finally come of age!! Some may view the emergence of street art as a more mainstream genre as a bad thing, but a more stable and viable marketplace can only be of benefit to the longevity of street art.
Paris auction house Artcurial set a new record for a work by Richard Mirando – a street artist better known as ‘Seen’ – during their February 15 Street Art sale held at Hôtel Marcel Dassault. Seen’s aerosol painting on canvas SUPERMAN WHO, which was estimated to fetch €25,000-35,000, sold for an incredible €77 000 (US$122,210). After signing on with art world juggernaut Opera Gallery in 2011, 50 year old Richard ‘Seen’ Mirando had an exhibition of his work held at the Paris branch of the gallery from the 25th Mar to 16th Apr 2011. Another of Seen’s works, GRAFFITI EXPLOSION 2, sold for €43,910 ($55,924) against an estimate of €20,000 – 30,000 setting the third highest auction record for the artist.
Greek born TAKI 183 was another of the more mature street artists to find favour with buyers in Paris. The artist’s Sans Tire I (2002) sold for €56,302, the second highest price for the artist at auction, against an estimate of €20 000 – 30 000. With only seven auction records to his name, TAKI 183 has a very limited auction history compared to other street artists of his era. One street artist whose work appears at auction much more frequently is Speedy Graphito, a graffiti and street-art artist from Paris. Born in 1961, Olivier Rizzo, alias Speedy Graphito, is another artist represented by Opera Gallery who held an exhibition of the artist’s work at their London gallery at the beginning of 2011. A number of Speedy Graphito’s works were sold at the Artcurial sale the most successful of which was BAD INFLUENCE which set the fourth highest auction record for the artist with a final price of €24,083 ($30,672) against an estimate of €15,000 – 20,000.
Perhaps most exciting of all was the second highest auction price achieved for Shepherd Fairey achieved with the artist’s HIGH TIME FOR PEACE STENCIL. Selling for $55,924 (€43,910) against an estimate of €30,000 – 40,000, HIGH TIME FOR PEACE STENCIL is one of the artist’s most iconic works.
1. SUPERMAN WHO by Richard ‘Seen’ Mirando
2. GRAFFITI EXPLOSION 2 by Richard ‘Seen’ Mirando
**Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer. He is the founder of the Art Market Blog (artmarketblog.com) which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others. Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.
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