Monumental street art by Twist a top entry in Palm Beach Modern’s Nov. 2 auction Street art is red hot, especially since Banksy started leaving his mark around New York. Palm Beach Modern is right on trend with works by Twist and other street art pioneers in their Nov. 2 auction.
News-Antique.com - Oct 15,2013 - WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The current Stateside visit by elusive British street artist and public prankster Banksy has created something of a frenzy in the street-art marketplace. Some say that although he didn’t plan it that way, Banksy – whose mindset is decidedly anti-commercial – propelled street art to its greatest mainstream recognition level ever with his recent free exhibition and $60 pop-up art stand in Central Park. The chatter and media coverage generated by Banksy’s genius antics in New York suggest there couldn’t be a more opportune time for a monumental work by another street art pioneer – San Francisco’s Barry McGee (a k a “Twist”) – to make its appearance at auction.
McGee has street cred to spare from coast to coast, and his work is in great demand, but it’s rare for a monumental Twist installation to appear at auction. When his public profile skyrocketed in 2001, after his participation in the Venice Biennale, much of Twist’s San Francisco Mission District street art was scavenged or stolen. Hence the excitement over a painting on canvas entered in Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ November 2nd sale of modern and decorative art and sculptural design.
“It’s a quintessential example of an exciting new movement – a sort of neo folk art that looks a lot like the hobo art seen on trains that run between San Francisco and Canada,” said Palm Beach Modern’s auctioneer Rico Baca. “The Twist artwork is painted on US Army surplus canvas, measures a massive 85.5 by 105 inches, and has that classic Twist look, where there’s one dominant central figure and his trademark drips of paint in the background.”
The Twist canvas is estimated at $50,000-$80,000 and has a minimum opening bid of $44,000. Baca predicts there will be multiple bidders willing to step up to the plate and pay the price to own it, citing the (approx.) $40,000 price realized at a major international auction house in May for a smaller Twist.
“The Twist piece in our auction has street-art history, as well as great provenance. It was exhibited at a boutique hotel in San Francisco in the 1990s,” said Baca. The artwork will be auctioned along with a copy of a 2010 photo of the consignor with Twist at Art Basel.
Baca believes street art is still in its relative infancy as a legitimate, collectible art category and that its potential is unlimited. “When you look at its evolution, street art is absolutely unique,” Baca said. “It’s gone from being illegal to being sold for five- and six-figure prices in prestigious galleries. Street art is attracting the smart-money collectors, and we have a selection in our November 2nd sale that we think will grab their attention.”
Other hot-ticket street artists in the upcoming auction include Danny Simmons (brother of hip hop impresario Russell Simmons and Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of Run-D.M.C.), Shepard Fairey, Purvis Young and Katsu. While not technically classified as “street art,” auction entries by Jamie Reid, known for his