Eden Fine Art Gallery in SoHo, Manhattan welcomes Alec Monopoly back to his home city.
Thursday, February 22, was a special night for the bandit graffiti artist Alec Monopoly, who spent his 32nd birthday celebrating at Eden Fine Art, SoHo New York. The party thrown for him took up the entire three floors of the gallery with guests to spare on the red carpet outside and in the dance session that took place by coat check on the lower ground floor. Reveling in the music, the alcohol, and the star studded guest list while being among the most sought after spray paint art out there today – there has been no better entertainment.
Back in New York for the first time in over ten years with an exhibition at one of the best, ahem, the best gallery in the city, surrounded by a swanky crowd of bling and beauty, one can affirmably say Alec is at the height of his career. Yet for the artist himself the night wasn’t even about him. The subject of many of his newest paintings all pay homages to the city, New York, and the people that shaped him – to which he humbly tips his top hat.
ALEC: It’s an amazing feeling, I’m blessed that I’m being shown here at Eden. This is my home city, I love the energy. This is where I first started doing graffiti and I owe it all to this city. I’m happy to be home, honestly.
But New York wouldn’t be New York without the help of one special person, someone who also appears in many of Alec’s latest and largest works – and no, it’s not the monopoly man – actor Robert De Niro, whose on-screen/off-screen home has been New York for decades; he is man who profoundly believes in New York and has worked hard to improve the city by investing in his own neighborhood of TriBeCa and by establishing great restaurants and the world reknown TriBeCa Film Festival.
ALEC: This show is in a way me honoring De Niro. He’s done so much for this city while being one of the best actors of all time. I love him as an actor, I love his movies, and I have fun painting De Niro – looking at him – it makes me happy.
When asked if his depictions of the monopoly man, who is often found rejoicing in an exorbitant opulence with overflowing moneybags, grand mansions, expensive cars – if in some way it is a way of making a satirical commentary on big money, populism, or capitalism, he tells us:
ALEC: Even if it is! My art should be seen as purely positive! I’m just trying to give out good energy through making good art. You know there’s a lot of negative energy out there and I try to give out what is positive. That’s why I do such bright and happy colors with graffiti.
Yet the world that Alec’s monopoly man lives in versus the one that most of us occupy has no comparison. Alec plays the role of mediator between a life of endless abundance and unfathomable richness, and, well, ours. Whether the happiness Alec is putting out is one that money can indeed buy, or whether anarchy is the answer, the court is still out…
Monopoly on monopoly:
ALEC: I’m creating this fantasy world here, one that I partially live in myself – and that I create in my artwork. You’ll see paintings of Monopoly man in a yacht, and then I’ll get on a yacht later that week! It’s like I’m living my dream in a way and I’ve kind of been absorbed by the monopoly man.
But even if this badboy artist is perceived as the epitome of his own satire of big money and fat wealth (with paintings currently selling for a quarter of a million dollars at Eden), he has ways of keeping his humility in check. He reminds us that his original canvases were billboards, railways cars, and brick walls – which he honors to this day:
ALEC: I’ll always be working on the streets. I still do graffiti every day, I’m still out there. On foot. My advice? Just keep working. Working works. You have to be dedicated and you have to do it every day. This just proves that artists that are young and living are collectible. The fact that people are investing in my work, is amazing.
It truly was a cotillion like no other as some of Alec’s newest debs being finished and unveiled there on site. For this fine memory, we must thank Cathia Klimovsky, owner of Eden Fine Art. With every singular and fresh piece that comes out of Eden – driving collectors absolutely crazy, Klamovsky pushes the vanguard of this ‘POPular‘ trend.