|Street Artist wanted by the NYPD to have his international debut at Graffik Gallery|
Graffik Gallery is host to the very first overseas exhibit of the legendary American street artist “Alec Monopoly”. The show opens on 9th June for a duration of two weeks.
Most people will recognise ‘Alec’ for the depiction on billboards, street walls and other streetscapes of the beloved Monopoly board game mascot Rich Uncle Penny Bags. In a more controlled, commercial gallery setup, ‘Alec’s’ work translates from an expletive gesture towards the iinvisible bureaucratic juggernaut into a multi-faceted array of Pop culture icons interspersed with financially-apocalyptic newspaper clippings. What separates his efforts
from other high-profile graffiti artists who have effectively transitioned into the commercial art sphere (a.k.a. Banksy and Mr. Brainwash) is a deeper attraction to the ‘anti-hero’ personas of Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro.
Large celebrity portraits will be unveiled in this show, such as Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Christian Bale in American Psycho, and a dancing profile of Michael Jackson. Other paintings will reveal a broader sense of style, as some canvases touch on impressionism; others evoke a feminine sensibility through color, subject, and minimal line art. Alec’s show will display the colourful styles of pop art which he has implemented in his pieces adorning neighbourhoods in Los Angeles and New York — iconic portraiture of Jack Nicholson, Bob Dylan, and Twiggy, interspersed with a large-scale series depicting the Monopoly man on canvases coated in archived copies of the Wall Street Journal, sealed with resin.
Adding to the profile of such an impressive young artist is the mere fact that he is wanted by the NYPD for utilising the urban landscape in the Big Apple & Cali as his canvas. This international debut will in fact be the very first time that his show will warrant an appearance by the legend himself as in the last few weeks leading up to this latest New York exhibition, uniformed and plain-clothed police officers made enquiries at the studio and gallery with intent to discover his whereabouts. That he is under surveillance may be a surprise to those unfamiliar with how the NYPD has treated artists since Giuliani introduced a “quality of life” clean streets approach in the ’90s, largely kept in place by Mayor Bloomberg. Painters selling their work on the street as well as graffiti artists have been locked up, with their artwork confiscated and destroyed.
Alec’s London Epic Graffiti Episode New Dawn will change the London landscape in the next few weeks. Next to the small crevices of the city’s surfaces where tags and murals thrive unabated, big bright posters of Jack Nicholson or Monopoly Man will spring up. The urban eye ignores spray-painted names — but when it’s the face of the old guy from Monopoly? London CTY watch this space!!
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