10/17/2012 03:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Shepard Fairey Sells, Mr. Brainwash Flops at America's First Street Art Auction

This afternoon, Doyle New York hosted the first ever street art auction held in America. The sale included 46 lots and works from the 1980s through the present by a range of artists, many of whom -- like Banksy, Barry McGee, and Shepard Fairey -- have already seen substantial commercial success.


Shepard Fairey, "Untitled," 2004 / Doyle New York

Among the works that exceeded their high estimates was Fairey's decoupaged Vespa (above), which was estimated to sell for somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000; it went for $10,000. His Muhammad Ali print, estimated to fetch between $800 and $1200, was sold for $1,300, and a Blek le Rat print estimated to land between $400 and $600 was purchased for $1,800.

Many works sold within their estimated values, but several pieces failed to find buyers, including Mr. Brainwash's print, "Life is Beautiful - Alfred Hitchcock," estimated between $16,000 and $20,000. Brainwash, the subject of Banksy's 2010 film, "Exit Through the Gift Shop," has found surprising success as an artist despite his less than favorable depiction in the film, and several of his works sold today despite his Hichcock flop. The top lot at the auction was Margaret Kilgallen's "Natadora," which sold for $22,500.

Though street art has its origins in America, it's taken much longer for the art form to gain commercial success here than in Europe, where auctions have been going on for years. Bonhams hosted the first ever auction of Urban Art in 2008 in London. Their first Urban Art auction in America is scheduled to take place on October 29, in Los Angeles.


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