A Curator’s Explanation of Street art and its Market Value
A question I think perfectly valid given so many peoples common understanding of the spray can medium known as Graffiti or Street art.
Why buy Urban Art? Well other than Banksy’s rise in popularity and the stigma and value his work now carries there is naturally a wake in the rise of people creating more works to be sold and a lot of information about graffiti to process, hopefully our urban art advice will help.
Half of the problem in categorising street art is that there is such a diverse range of production from graffiti wall murals, stencil graffiti, wheat pastes and other people mixing it with other medias. When you combine the natural anarchic creativity of a vast amount of artists and add the amount of people tagging and bombing publically and illegally, public have become desensitised to the art and subconsciously this decreases its value because we are used to seeing graffiti everywhere, mostly viewing this public art for free.
This brings me to the next key question..
What is it worth and How do I value it?
Well, art being the unusual world that it is, it is generally based on the value placed on an applied concept and seeing what bites with publicity as to how that artist or their work sells.
Urban art is no stranger to this pattern however the themes and concepts across the graffiti spectrum seem far too familiar. Having had street art works that have sold between £2000 and £8000 a piece to then seeing the recession taking the general value as low as £100’s and then over the last 2 years inclining again yo-yoing on the art market can bring confusion to both artist and buyer from 1st hand experience, finding a balance is key.
After owning and curating two urban art Galleries our ethos is that value lies in the finish, precision and themes moving away from what you know as graffiti. The use of fabrics, bespoke framing, polished plasters and its introduction into designer interiors are all elements that have seen the value rise above what you expect because they have that intelligent touch that a professional artist and collector expect. Once you can recognise techniques and composition, the difference starts to become obvious.
Well established ideas sitting amongst what we understand as classical established creative depictions fused with the finish only a spray can bring sit well in sustainable collectors value.
To separate, an unknown street artist of a good standard can expect to sell a one off painting up to a 60″x 40″ box canvas for £500. This would be fine for an enthusiast with personal interest but would have no resale or value among collectors.
However an established urban artist’s original piece, from part of a collection exhibited can expect to be sold for a minimum of £1200.
Prints of these kind of works can be found from £250 an still hold their resale value even as a print.
Considering a Painting or Graffiti Mural for your venue?
And Why Shouldn’t you?
Street art is undoubtedly the most vibrant advertising form you could bring to your venue, vehicle, office, home or building.
From being extremely durable and weatherproof it also has a striking vibrancy paralleled by no other art form.
For any Urban street art service make sure you use a firm with a good track record where you can see what they have done previously and that they have a policy that covers your project to make sure you are happy with the work going ahead.
Appropriate health and safety documentation and site preparation guidelines are useful so you do not end up with a dust filled venue unexpectedly or extra labour you hadn’t budgeted for.
One of the greatest positives if you are a business or working professional looking to commission a graffiti art wall are that productions are fast. We see large scale works being completed within one or two days and can usually be fit around your work day or after business hours so you do not experience loss of business and see your site transformed from one business day into the next seamlessly.
If it is a painting or collectors piece you are looking for or has taken you eye, talk to the venue/seller about the piece, ask questions about the collection and the artist’s works. Search the artist online to discover the profile of who’s work you are interested in. These will help you develop and idea of what you are purchasing.
The final information important to educating about Urban Street art is the thumbprint of the artist.
Unmatched by None
Using a can of spray paint is to add your fingerprint to the piece.
The way a spray can works in its construction is like that of a milkshake. A cylinder with a thick liquid in and a straw going down the centre.
The paint pressure is varied in every can, so the way in which the paint leaves the can is the first variable.
Not only is the pressure varied but then the artist choice of nozzle determines the speed and width of each stoke. Whether the nozzles are part clogged or not effects this also.
The artist then has to use their own body and limb movements to layer the artwork. By the time a creation is complete the body movements are so vast one could not possibly fathom replicating those movements therefore no piece could be copied or the same.
The other variable is the distance from can to canvas. This is varied through out spray painting to create softer or stronger marks therefore creating a 3rd dimension to the composition.
The artist’s dance with the can is like no other artistic medium, rendering Urban artwork as a fingerprint of individuality you will not see anywhere else.
To find out more about Original Urban Art and collections or to book an art viewing see our related articles on our blog feed or get in touch on our contact page www.urbangypset.com/contact