Art market Magazine October 2013

 
EVENT / GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL 
 
Rotterdam…
EVENT / GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL

Rotterdam devoted the first official event to it in 1983. In South America, the public space has long been used as an area for expression too, with
particularly colourful frescoes. While Mexico led the way, Valparaiso and Buenos Aires have literally become open-air museums. Today, Brazil claims the lion's share with figureheads in the shape of the "Os Gêmeos" twins, Otavio and Gustavo Pandolf, and the "Pixadores", this time in the realm of tagging. These groups are capable of covering a twenty-floor building with their distinctive lettering in a single night... Meanwhile, a graphic demonstration can be seen in Rue Fulton in the 13th arrondissement of Paris: destined for demolition in November, a nine-floor building opposite the Ministry of the Economy has been taken over since the beginning of the year – on the initiative of the

Paris gallery Itinerrance – by a hundred-odd street artists from all over the world.A venue – albeit temporary – that is well worth the detour.

From the street to the hammer
To date, nearly 150 works in this rising market have taken the path to the auction room. They are by artists in the urban scene of virtually five continents. Honour to whom honour is due: so let's start with the founding fathers, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) and Keith Haring (1958-1990). In 1981, Haring made his name with clandestine chalk drawings of figures, dogs, spaceships, TV sets, and so on, on New York's subway advertising panels. The next year, Tony Shafrazi invited him to his gallery for his first solo exhibition. Two acry-

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lics on canvas, “Sneeze” from 1984 and “CityKids Speak on Education” from 1989 – works inspired by children and teenagers benefiting from the programmes
of his foundation, CityKids – should fetch around €500,000/700,000 and €300,000/500,000 respecitively. However, you will need between €700,000 and €1,000,000 if you want to land Monticello (see photo), a painting from 1986 by all-round champion JeanMichel Basquiat, the darling of investors. A five-cent coin stands out on a black background, showing a house in Monticello, Virginia the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and a slave-owner - and the Latin phrase "e pluribus unum" (from many, one) referring to the union of America's states. The work "unum" is crossed out, and illegible. A criticism of the individualist consumer society or a stand against racism? Probably both… It is equally difficult to be unmoved by the works of the Franco-Tunisian graffitist El Seed, the explosive compositions of Katre, the colourful and complex figures of Chilean artist Inti, the stencils of British artist Nick Walker (“This morning after”, Paris, 2012, €10,000/15,000), the black silhouettes of Blek le Rat (“Beggar”, €4,800/6,000), the coloured cut-out recycled paper figures of American artist Swoon (see photo) or the revised and corrected celebrities of London artist D-Face (“Marilyn”, 2007, €5,000/6,000). Two other big names stand out. One is Shepard Fairey, the South Carolina fresco artist and illustrator originally from the skater community, who became famous in 1990 with his iconic character "André The Giant" sporting the slogan "Obey", in the form of first stickers then posters. The other is his friend, Banksy – mysterious, yet widely covered by the media – whose works mingle humour and anti-consumerist messages on walls and in the most unlikely places. He is the best-selling artist under 40 in his native country, the UK. Well, a happy life is a discreet one, as we know... Claire Papon

Swoon (b. 1977), “Irena”, 2007, collage, paper cut-out and ink on wood remnant, 215 x 108 cm. Estimate: €7,000/9,000.

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Os Gêmeos (twins; b. 1974), “The Boat”, 2006, cardboard and spray paint, central element of an installation partially destroyed by the artists, 80 x 51 x 50 cm. Estimate: €20,000/30,000.

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Art Market Magazine October 2013
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