Category Archives: FEATURE

Street art, graffiti and big big smackers

Mr Brainwash | Art-Pie

Let’s face it, 10 years ago that post would have not existed because ten years ago, street art, graffiti or urban art, let’s call it that, wasn’t around. I actually need to point out that it was around but not as popular as it is now. Now popular often leads to some sort of fame and wait fort it… money revenue, bucks, big bucks.

I must admit, I wad gobbed smacked when I learnt how much some street artists are actually worth. Kids, I am about to give a very good and valid argument to go up to your parents and defend your case about becoming a vandal or should we call it an ‘urban creative mind’

Here are the 5 money hoovers in the street artosphere…

5. Retna: $5 million +

Real name: Marquis Lewis –aka Retna
Age and residence: 33 year old, L.A (USA)
First show: 2010 that coincided with the New York Fashion week
Last auction fetch: ‘Young Blood’ for USD7500 (Source :
Latest gold mine collaboration: Louis Vuitton scarves series + mural creation on the storefront of the designer’s new location in the Design District of Miami.

Retna | Art-Pie

4. Mr. Brainwash (or MBA): $10 million

Real name: Thierry Guetta –aka Mr Brainwash
Age and residence: 47 year old, L.A (USA)
First show: 2012 ‘Life is beautiful’. Banksy suggested to Thierry that he should do some graffiti work of his own. Gusto became his trademark and on overnight success followed. Profits exceeded over 1 million at his first show
Last auction fetch: ‘Tomato spray’ for USD6250 (Source :

Mr Brainwash | Art-Pie

3. Shepard Fairey: $15 million

Real name: Frank Shepard Fairey – aka Shepard Fairey
Age and residence: 44 year old, Charleston (USA)
First show: or rather what put him on the map – He put together ‘HOPE’ for President Barack Obama‘s campaign for presidency back in 2008. The red and blue poster is now an iconic symbol of the election. (Fairey’s Obama poster now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.)
Latest auction fetch: ‘CHANGE’ for USD2500 (Source :
Latest gold mine enterprise: His ‘Obey’ Andre the Giant images, which became viral online and translated into a clothing line, including t-shirts sold at Urban Outfitters.

Shepard Fairey | Art-Pie

2. Banksy: $20 million

Real name: ?? Most of us will know who this guy is even thought and quite remarkably, this artist continues to work under the radar as a faceless enigma. – aka Banksy
Age and residence: 39 year old we think, Bristol most probably
First show: or rather first known large wall mural was “The Mild Mild West” painted in 1997 to cover advertising of a former solicitors’ office on Stokes Croft Avenue, Bristol. It depicts a teddybear lobbing a Molotov cocktail at three riot police.
Latest auction fetch: ‘GOLF SALE’ for USD6144 (Source :
Latest gold mine enterprise: Banksy has published a number of books on his projects and directed two movies, one of which – “Exit Through the Gift Shop” – was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011.

Mild Mild Mild West by Banksy | Art-Pie
Mild Mild Mild West by Banksy

1. David Choe: $200 million

Real name: David Choe – aka David Choe – real, no bullshit stage name
Age and residence: 37 year old, L.A (USA)
Latest auction fetch: ‘JIMMI’ for USD200 (Source :
Latest gold mine enterprise: Since he was approached back in 2005 by a small social media start-up by the name of Facebook, his life had changed and the bucks started pilling up. The president at the time, Sean Parker, was a fan of the artist and commissioned him for a series of murals for their office headquarters. What Choe delivered was his blend of frenetic style of abstraction, urban landscapes and sexuality. While Parker indicated it took a bit of time to get used to the distraction of the walls, Choe was presented with two options of payment; cash, or stocks. He went for the latter and damn his high-risk venture has paid off…


David Choe | Art-Pie
David Choe painting the Facebook HQ walls

Related links –
> “Dirty Hands: The Art and Crime of David Choe”
> “Exit Throuhg the Gift shop” – a Banksy documentary