Alec Monopoly – from Graffiti Art to Commercial Success
Alec Monopoly is an internationally renowned urban graffiti artist who has worked in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, much of Europe, and throughout Asia. Since the beginning of his career, Monopoly has used the image of the Monopoly man from the Parker Bros board game as his signature character. His reluctance for vandalism – all Monopoly’s pieces have appeared on abandoned buildings and warehouses – make him an oddity in the graffiti world. This may explain another important factor in Monopoly’s success: he is the rare graffiti artist whose art is fully embraced by the commercial world – without reservation.
How much are original paintings and prints by Alec Monopoly worth? View past sale prices, get notified of new works for sale and read more about Alec Monopoly.
Commercial Art Partnerships
Alec Monopoly has teamed up with some of the biggest and most prestigious brands in the world. He has commissioned works for Philipp Plein, Covergirl, Vitamin Water, and even the W Hotel. More recently, Paramount Pictures hired Monopoly to design the logo for their new production imprint, INSURGE. All of these projects have helped widen the scope of Monopoly’s work, giving him unprecedented exposure while still allowing him to live in relative anonymity. That anonymity seems to be more than an act — until very recently almost every picture of the artist has some variation of him blocking his face, whether with a bandana or a mask. That mixture of mystique, talent, and glamor is what makes Alec Monopoly so special — and so alluring to potential collectors.
What kind of art does Alec Monopoly make?
Primarily a graffiti artist, Alec Monopoly has expanded his oeuvre to include paintings, prints, handbags, sneakers, watches, and other luxury items. Alec Monopoly’s gallery pieces are often mixed media, Pop Art-inspired satirical works that feature cartoon characters like Mr. Monopoly alongside newspaper clippings and other cultural criticisms. Much of his work has a heavy urban aesthetic, often utilizing spray paint and other acrylics to create bombastic, fun pieces that still retain their artistic edge.
While there is a high level of tongue-in-cheek satire in his depictions of wealth, Monopoly’s work is sought after by tons of celebrity fans including Miley Cyrus, Adrian Brody, and Snoop Dogg. He routinely does commissioned work, and in 2015 created a one-of-a-kind purse for Khloe Kardashian. Monopoly operates outside of much of the mainstream art world, he encourages the blurring of edges between his satirical self and his real life — often taking pictures with his celebrity fans and posting to his social media. He sees it as an extension of his work. In 2019 he said, “There is no superficial limit between art, street art, galleries, and brands. The world of art has opened up. It allows artists a much more extensive range across various creative outlets.”
What are the most recognizable Alec Monopoly designs?
Alec Monopoly is famous for his depiction of wealth and luxury — specifically with pop and cartoon icons like Scrooge McDuck, Mr. Monopoly, and Richie Rich. These themes are further explored with his social media accounts like Instagram, where Monopoly’s embrace of “flex culture” has earned him over a million followers. He frequently posts pictures of himself in gold chains and other displays of wealth.
Mr. Monopoly (Rich Uncle Pennybags):
Perhaps the best known of Alec Monopoly’s characters (and the one he took his name from) is the famous Parker Bros game character. The pieces featuring Mr. Monopoly were some of his first to gain widespread acclaim. The artist himself has said that his roots with this character are satirical — he was originally inspired by the stockbroker, Bernie Madoff. In the last ten years, Alec Monopoly has created a wide variety of art featuring Mr. Monopoly — from paintings to prints to a huge vinyl balloon and helicopter that were part of a viral exhibit in Europe.
Even the lesser-known pieces featuring Mr. Monopoly are quite popular. For example, the work Shocked (date n/a), acrylic,and spray paint on canvas, sold at Heritage Auction on November 4h, 2020 for $8,125.
Another popular character in Alec Monopoly’s work is Scrooge McDuck, the rich Uncle of Donald Duck made famous by Disney cartoons. Scrooge functions as an avatar in the same way that Mr. Monopoly does — as a way to express showy depictions of wealth in an over-the-top cartoonish way. These pieces have become extremely popular.
One of Alec Monopoly’s more recent muses is Richie Rich. Adorning everything from chairs to vinyl figures to paintings, the diminutive cartoon billionaire has been a source of unending inspiration for the graffiti artist.
Make Offer to Owner to Buy Alec Monopoly Artwork
The mixed media painting Richie Rich Room (2014) below sold for $23,750 in 2019. The current owner is entertaining offers of more than $45,000 for this piece under the Heritage Auction Make Offer to Owner program.
What types of Alec Monopoly paintings are the most valuable?
Examples of high-priced Alec Monopoly pieces are Mr. Monopoly (date N/A), Gold Bull (2015) and Wall Street Crucifix (date not given).
All three are acrylic spray paint collages and feature Mr. Monopoly – the artist’s most often featured subject. All were sold by Heritage Auctions substantially over their auction price estimates.
Mr. Monopoly – Sold at auction for $51,250 on July 8th, 2020.
Gold Bull – Sold at auction for $50,000 on July 8th, 2020.
Wall Street Crucifix – Sold at auction for $45,000 on October 7th, 2020.
Alec Monopoly painting vs print values
It’s no question that an Alec Monopoly painting is worth much more than a print. Monopoly’s paintings are one-of-a-kind pieces of art that routinely reach five figures, while a print of Alec Monopoly can be found online for between fifty and a hundred dollars. These prints are typically not one-of-a-kind, but mass-produced works designed to be framed and used as a poster. The range for an Alec Monopoly painting is $20,000 to $50,000.
How to get started collecting original Alec Monopoly paintings?
An easy way to get started collecting Alec Monopoly paintings is to look for value in some of his collaborations, non-traditional mediums, or pieces that don’t feature his trademark characters. While these still tend to sell for thousands of dollars, they represent an approachable price point compared to other pieces he produces.
Several Alec Monopoly pieces on the lower end are Jack Nicholson in Grun (2011) which sold for $1,679 on June 16th, 2017. BH Monopi Toy (2018) which sold for $2,625 on July 8th, 2020 at Heritage Auctions. PBH Modernica Chair (2019) sold for $3,250 on November 11th, 2020. It’s worth noting that all these pieces still significantly outperformed their pre-auction high estimate.
What are the highest priced Alec Monopoly paintings sold by Heritage Auctions?
Heritage Auctions has sold several Alec Monopoly pieces with a price range from $2,500 to $50,000. Alec Monopoly’s art spans several themes and characters, and it’s worth noting that its fairly accessible for a collector getting started. A quick look at some of the most expensive Alec Monopoly’s items sold by Heritage Auctions reveals a wide range of motifs and mediums, though they do often feature one of the main three characters we’ve previously mentioned.
- SOLD FOR: $51,250 – Alec Monopoly, Mr. Monopoly (date N/A)
- SOLD FOR: $45,000 – Alec Monopoly, Wall Street Crucifix (date N/A)
- SOLD FOR: $36,250 – Alec Monopoly, Mr. Monopoly (date N/A).
- SOLD FOR: $32,500 – Alec Monopoly, DJ Monopoly (2011)
- SOLD FOR: $27,500 – Alec Monopoly, Piano Man (Date N/A)
- SOLD FOR: $27,500 – Alec Monopoly Dollar Richie with Money Bag (2017)
Alec Monopoly vs Takashi Murakami
Alec Monopoly is on-par with Banksy, Takashi Murakami, and other famous urban artists. That’s true even though he’s over a decade younger than most of these established artists. While his work may not be as universally praised as others, Monopoly has leveraged his fame to create a large and consistent demand when his pieces come up at auction. While he may not have sold pieces in the millions like someone like Takashi Murakami, the lower end of Alec Monopoly’s sales are more robust than Murakami’s.
In a head-to-head matchup, Murakami comes out ahead, but Monopoly holds his own. Murakami’s highest-selling piece, Lonesome Cowboy, sold for $15.16 million at auction. While both artists are extremely prolific and in demand, we’d give the edge to Murakami right now. That’s with a heavy caveat — Monopoly is still young and presumably has his best work in front of him. Collectors would be wise to grab now before he blows up even more.
Read More about Contemporary Artist Values
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