Alec Monopoly and his work at the annual exhibition Miami Art Basel
After a two-year hiatus, the first Miami Art Basel exhibition impressed with its scale, sales, and record attendance. The American exhibition featured works by contemporary art masters and emerging stars.
One of the brightest artists of this Art Basel was Alec Monopoly, a contemporary artist working in fashion street art. A talented person is talented in everything. In addition to the fact that Alec Monopoly is one of the best street graffiti artists, he also paints pictures (with spray cans), which starts from $ 50,000- $ 150,000. He is also a very stylish DJ who performs at the most fabulous fashion venues.
Although the artist prefers anonymity (the audience does not know his date of birth, the address of residence, or even the face of this person), we managed to talk to him.
Alec, tell us about your latest collection. There are many publications on your Instagram about preparation for the exhibition. Did your work on your projects all year long?
A.M. – Of course. Miami Art Basel is a kind of Art Olympiad, where the best artists from the world come and exhibit. This is the biggest event of the year. I have been participating in the exhibition for almost 10 years, so this is a special place for me. I put my heart and soul into my works because they should appeal to the Art Basel audience. So, you have to work a lot.
Your art is trendy in Russia and Ukraine. But, again, there is a video on your Instagram where you do your graffiti right in the middle of the Ukrainian highway. Why put yourself in such danger? Do artists do it the way they feel?
A.M. – I can’t be responsible for everyone, but I am like that. I like the rush, the energy of running and chasing, the police chase, this atmosphere. I love to leave my mark in every city I visit. In the United States, the police punish for such graffiti, but in Ukraine, such fashion art is loved much more. Even the police liked it.
Let’s talk about your collaboration with fashion brands like Hermes and Phillip Plein. What is it to you? Is it like a business direction of your art, or is it the result of your inspiration?
A.M. – No, I am inspired by fashion in general. Fashion is art. Art is fashion. It’s a kind of one whole. I like to combine and play with them. If you are allowed to combine your creativity with the work of famous fashion designers, why not? Especially when it bears fruit. For example, after my painting, Hermes bags have doubled in price.
Yesterday, right here in Miami, literally in a day, you created graffiti in memory of the designer Louis Vuitton…
A.M. – Yes, Virgil Abloh.
It was done fast, but it turned out so touching, sensitive. Tell me, what feelings overwhelmed you while working? Why did you decide to create such a drawing?
A.M. – The news of Virgil’s passing overwhelmed me. I knew him well. He was one of the most positive, sound, and humble guys in the world. He knew how to touch the soul of absolutely everyone and made many people happy. So I decided to use my art to talk about him. Indeed, people passing by the wall with my graffiti said: “The man, Virgil, was so talented. Virgil… “. So for me, it is a great honor and a remarkable memory of him.
The Art Basel exhibition takes place on Jewish holidays. Last night I noticed you had the Menorah candles. Is it a religion or just a tradition for you? Or maybe you have Jewish friends?
A.M. – Yes, indeed, many of my friends are Jewish. I am happy to celebrate their holidays. We are having fun. And the coincidence of the celebrations with the holding of the exhibition is a double holiday!
Thank you very much, Alec, for giving me some of your time for an exciting conversation.
A.M. – I wish you that inspiration did not run out and you continued to leave your marks on the streets around the world. See you at the next Art Basel exhibition. In the end, the exhibition will not be the same without your fashion art.
Thanks for the great interview and see you next year!
Article by Fashion Journalist Anna Estrin @annieestrin Artist: Alec Monopoly @alecmonopoly Photos by: Olga Markova @markova_photographer Article edit: Fashion Magazine 24 @fashionmagazine24