Alec Monopoly

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Alec Monopoly is the alias of a graffiti artist, originally from New York City. The artist has worked in the urban environments of New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Europe, Mexico and throughout Asia using varied materials (including stencils, spray paint, epoxies, varnishes and newspapers) to subversively depict various iconic pop culture characters.

Life and work

Monopoly is from New York City, He moved to Los Angeles in 2006. He found working there was easier because of the many billboards in the city.[1]

Monopoly is best known for his tuxedoed, monocle and top-hatted graffiti character of Monopoly Man,[2] an idea originally inspired by the stockbroker Bernie Madoff.[3] According to John Wellington Ennis writing for the Huffington Post, "In an era of billion dollar bailouts for banks that already own the country and moguls decrying regulation as un-American, the re-contextualization of the childhood symbol of success and wealth almost needed no explanation."[2] Monopoly also pastes up images of Jack Nicholson.[4][5]

Although graffiti continues to be conveyed as a crime, in his feature in Juxtapoz Magazine, the artist discussed his best efforts to avoid the vandalism aspect of the street art world:

"I stay away from mailboxes, highways, freeways, and basically any federal and government property. I like warehouses and abandoned buildings. For example I would never hit a coffee shop like the one we’re in: they [the owners] are trying to make it just like I am. I try to be as positive as I can about what I put out there and I try to do it with imagery everyone can identify with. Most people walking by my stuff are not graffiti people or art people, so figuring out a way that everyone can identify with my work is important."[6]

In November 2010 he had his first solo gallery show in New York.[6] In December 2010 he took part in an exhibition at the Mondrian Hotel as part of Art Basel Miami Beach.[6] In 2013 he hosted a yacht party at Art Basel Miami Beach, sponsored by Samsung.[7]

In December 2013 Monopoly created a piece of work, painted 'live' on a piece of red carpet, to publicise Justin Bieber's concert documentary, Justin Bieber's Believe.[7]

Monopoly sometimes employs ghost artists to physically create the works attributed to him. [8]

Artnet included Alec Monopoly in the Top 10 Most Searched Artists on its website in 2014.[9]