Alec Monopoly, ‘Martini Monopoly’, 2013, Julien's Auctions

Anonymous American graffiti artist Alec Monopoly is most often compared to the British Banksy. Irreverent in style and panache the two iconic street artists certainly remain preoccupied with money—those who have it and those who don’t—and ultimately its effect on society at large. Using the familiar fictional childhood characters of Scrooge, Richie Rich, and the Monopoly Man to symbolize the wealthy and powerful, Monopoly began his dogged pursuit on the pitfalls of capitalism, consumerism, and bank industry scandals following the 2008 market crash. The monumental size of the present canvas and the resulting scale of the Monopoly Man himself compounds this message into an oppressive reality that the viewer can’t shy away from. Monopoly has recently forayed more into the gallery world, with exhibitions at Art Basel Hong Kong, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bangkok. —Courtesy of Julien’s Auctions

Signature: Signed in aerosol lower right

Image rights: Courtesy of Julien's Auctions

LAB ART gallery, Los Angeles

About Alec Monopoly

Street artist Alec Monopoly takes his name from the transaction-based board game in which players buy and sell property, accumulate money, and try to make their opponents go broke. The artist employs the character of Rich “Uncle” Pennybags, the game's suited mascot, to deliver his critique of capitalist greed. In Monopoly's tableaux, done on city surfaces or on newsprint and framed, the mustachioed character sprints with a moneybag under one arm, laments the lack of universal health care, and gets beaten by a policeman with a bully club. Monopoly uses a cartoonish style to comment on real-world problems, delivering a simplified and exaggerated message nonetheless justified in its decrial of a broken economic system. The first real figure Monopoly painted was Bernie Madoff, whom he considers the ultimate symbol of financial collapse. He also uses cartoon characters Scrooge McDuck and Richie Rich in his work.


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Guy Hepner, 
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