On 27th of October 2015, at 8.00pm, Artcurial
will, for the first time, be offering an Urban Art sale during the FIAC. This new annual auction aims to present a selection of works, still under represented at the FIAC, while major French and international collectors of contemporary art are in Paris. Entitled The Beautiful Winners, it follows the success of the Urban Art sale, held on 4th of February this year, which totalled almost 2 M / 2,25 M$ (+ 40 % compared 2014), with 86 % of lots sold and auction records for several artists.
Arnaud Oliveux, director of Artcurials Urban Art department, explained: « For a long time sidelined, forgotten or ignored, contemporary urban artists have, over the last few years, gained in popularity, as much in the general market place as in international auctions. The Beautiful Winners, echoing the American travelling exhibition Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture will highlight the current urban scene as well as its growing recognition by the international market of contemporary art. »
2004 saw the emergence of the project Beautiful Losers : Contemporary Art and Street Culture, a travelling exhibition conceived in the United States and which brought together the most influential artists of American urban culture : from graffiti to punk and hip-hop. The organisers, Aaron Rose and Christian Strike, wanted to blur the lines between the subcultures and official culture by celebrating the extraordinary creativity of these new movements. Unveiled in March 2004 at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Centre, the exhibition has since travelled to numerous institutions in both America and Europe. In 2008, a documentary by Aaron Rose, traced the history of the project and the subsequent rise in influence of the artists.
At the time of Beautiful Losers, these artists became Beautiful Winners. Artcurial, a pioneer in the sales of graffiti and contemporary urban art, will honour their success by offering them an exhibition during the FIAC. It will give collectors and enthusiasts the opportunity to discover the richness of urban art culture with its numerous references to the comic, to comic strip Super Heroes, television series, punk rock and skateboarding. Several major trends will be represented.
SOME PIONEERS OF AMERICAN GRAFFITI
The American graffiti of the 70s and 80s paved the way for the institutionalisation of urban art in the United States and worldwide. Several artists from this period, whose works are now highly sought after, will be presented. One of the most memorable is undoubtedly DONDI WHITE, for whom Artcurial holds the auction world record for Dark continent of kings, a work which, on 4 February this year, sold for 101 000 / 115 332 $ including buyers premium.
Artcurial will be auctioning DONDI WHITEs Bishop of Battle, painted in 1985. He was one of the artists who brought street art into art galleries and onto museum walls. The piece is flamboyant and comprises several signature elements of DONDI WHITEs work. It is estimated between 40 000 and 60 000 (45 000 67 500 $).
Enthusiasts will also have the chance to discover several significant works by FUTURA 2000. Among those typical of the 1980s are Dangerous Dilemna, 1985 (estimate: 50 000 70 000 / 56 000 79 000 $), and a work on paper from 1980, which depicts the real alphabet of this pioneer. The drawing compiles the elements that make up the iconographic vocabulary of FUTURA 2000 namely the atom, the wheels and the point man.
Some works from Crash, Rammellzee, Lee Quinones, JonOne and Seen will complete the American graffiti scene.
TWO MAJOR WORKS BY BANKSY
During this sale the emphasis will be on new urban scenes that emerged at the end of the 1990s. Names currently prominent, such as BANKSY will therefore be on show.
Two important works by this mysterious British artist, previously exhibited in Vienna and Australia, will be offered at auction. In Love in the air (2003) and Kill people (2003), BANKSYS familiar anti-militarist, anti-capitalist and anti-system messages are evident, along with his use of stencils and powerful slogans.
Echoing the work of the Englishman, there will also be several works by DRAN, the « French Banksy », including a work from 2010, Security (estimate : 8 000 12 00 / 8 800 13 250 $). His critiques of contemporary society are peppered with touches of humour and cynicism.
THE NEW URBAN SCENES
The international selection of new urban scenes includes major names in contemporary urban art.:
The work of the Brazilian twins, OS GEMEOS, is characterised by their yellow skinned characters and popular influences. Initially very much inspired by North American graffiti, they gradually developed their style by incorporating elements and influences of Brazilian culture. In O dia em que a primavera virou outono (The day spring became fall), estimated at 120 000 150 000 / 135 000 170 000 $) the long, lanky figure stands out against a coloured, psychedelic background constructed around an optical illusion. The twins belong to the Beautiful Winners, so sought after by international collectors.
CONOR HARRINGTON was one of those artists who won international recognition in the street before turning to more traditional mediums. The Irishman, based in London, created dynamic works fraught with violence. His style is recognisable by the realism of its classical painting combined with street codes and glorified by vibrant strokes. On 27th of October, Artcurial will offer an oil painting The Killer inside me (40 000 60 000 / 45 000 67 500 $). In February this year, Artcurial sold Tardis of the light, 2012 for 72 500 / 87 787 $ including buyers premium, some four times its estimated value!
JR, another artist now celebrated by international institutions will be honoured with a particular work from his project « Wrinkles of the city ». The photograph Wrinkles of the city, Shanghai, China, « Gi Ginsui » 2010 is estimated at 35 000 45 000 / 40 000 50 500 $.
Invader, whose works have recently sold well at auction in Asia, will also be part of this selection, as will SHEPARD FAIREY and KAWS.