Street artists are generally best known for the art they make, well, on the street. But many tend to produce a huge range of works, from limited edition objects like skateboard decks and toys to licensed, mass-produced goods like hats and shirts, as well as more conventional fare like signed and numbered prints, and unique works like paintings and sculptures.
“It all falls into fairly clear categories of unique works, editions, and ephemera,” says Towers-Perkins. “It’s about what that collector would like to acquire. Is it a work of art that has been conceived as a work of art, or is [it] part of an interesting history surrounding the artist and street art as a whole?”
And while the unique works do command the highest prices and turn up at major auction houses, the more affordable editions and objects can be a great entrypoint for new collectors or more experienced buyers looking for something different.
“Graffiti and urban art is a great place for collectors to start because you can buy very affordable editions, for under £100, and they’re often quite striking,” says Worrall. “For the artists producing these works, it means they can cater to the demand, which spans from people with lots of money to your normal person who really likes Banksy, KAWS, etc., [and] can’t really afford the high-priced things, but are nevertheless able to afford a work of art by them.”
In other words—and this will sound corny, but there’s truth in it—the market for street art is like the ethos behind the movement.
“One of the wonderful things about street art is that it is open, and the idea of it is that there is less elitism and fewer barriers,” says Towers-Perkins. “There’s that sense of democratizing and really opening things up to so many different audiences.”