Just this week, Space Invader’s Alias HK_58 (an original street piece, featuring Hong Kong Phooey – a 1970s animated character, taken from its location shortly after it had been placed there in early 2014) exceeded its pre-sale estimate of US$193,000 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction and sold for the solid US $253,000.
It is indeed a striking result for a work that was never meant to be sold privately or removed from its carefully selected by the artist location. But what is more alarming, is the assurance that some entrepreneurial individuals would receive with this new result in mind, that auctioning unsolicited street works is the new way forward.
Invader with HK_58 in situ, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, 2014. Image via Sotheby's.
To quote Invader - ‘Finding the right spots to display my work is the key part of the invasion processes. ‘Not everybody goes or can go to museums or galleries, but everybody walks or drives in the street going through their daily lives.’ (Space Invader for Hong Kong's 'Space Invaders', The Wall Street Journal Online, 20 Feb, 2014). Therefore, we doubt that any artist that uses the urban environment as his/hers canvas , with the main purpose of adding an element of beauty within the cityscape for everyone to enjoy freely, would be ecstatic with the current tendency of unethical removal for personal benefit. In fact, the following Invader's statement only comes to confirm our suspicion - 'I fully understand that having my work damaged, stolen or removed is an inherent risk with displaying contemporary art in an urban environment, but it looks like 80 per cent of the pieces have been removed in less than two months. This wipe -out is really new to me.' (Space Invader for South China Morning Post Online, 23 March 2014).
Although arguably we may be bias, as a big part of the Hang-Up gallery business is selling Banksy work, but it still seems to us much more ethical to source a printed alternative piece through a valid gallery or agent. With this in mind If you are in London or visiting London and want to see authentic rare works that are ethically sourced, we currently have a series of exclusive Invader APs on display. ‘Hypnosis’, ‘Invaded Scream’, ‘Art4Space’ reveal the artist’s diverse and cross-disciplinary practice and mediums used (screen print, wood cut, etc).
Hypnosis, Woodcut print, 2011
Invaded Scream, AP, Woodcut print, 2011
Art4Space, Screen print, 2013
Alongside those rare Invader editions, we also have available both signed and unsigned editions of Banksy’s works, that are printed versions of long-gone street pieces, such as ‘Love is in the Air’, ‘No Ball Games’ (sadly removed from its original location in 2013), ‘Bomb Hugger’, ‘Stop and Search’. All of which are sold signed and come with official COAs.
Love is in the Air, signed AP screen print, 2003
No Ball Games, signed silk screen print, 2009
Bomb Hugger, signed screen print, 2004
Stop and Search, signed screen print, 2007
We get new work from Banksy and a plethora of other street artists into the gallery on a weekly basis so do pop in if you are the area!
Hope to see you soon at Hang-Up!
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