Art Review: Alec Monopoly

MonopolyChanelWall Street

Alec Monopoly, otherwise known as Alec Andon, is a graffiti artist who is best known for his depictions of of the Monopoly Man (a.k.a Rich Uncle Pennybags) set in a graffiti style world.  Alec’s artistic ability to contrast the well-known cartoon’s placement as the scion of capital against the urban landscape that graffiti is known for has a distinct social dynamic at play that allows for viewers to consider the implications of recklessness in the financial world (Bernie Madoff was Alec’s inspiration for Monopoly Man) and its greater relationship to its role in society.  Alec’s work has also been used for advertising purposes (ironically) for brands such as Samsung and TAG Heuer and also purchased by celebrities including Snoop Dogg.  His works have been shown at Art Basel in Miami as well.

His most recent collaboration with The Beverly Hills Hotel was profiled by the LA Times with the article entitled, “Street artist Alec Monopoly is a blinged-out, social engaged paradox” and discusses the artist’s main influences (Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring), as well as the evolution of the Monopoly Man character itself in his life and art.  Now, Andon feels consumed by painting him and living a “performance art” life, this forces us to consider how the Monopoly Man became an image of wealth to be proud of rather than a form of social critique, especially exemplified when he painted Khloe Kardashian’s Birkin bag and painted Adrien Brody’s Rolls Royce.  To me, the art still stands as an opportunity to discuss a taboo topic for so many wealthy people: how does their wealth affect them and what can they do with it?

Alec, as an artist, is never pictured showing his mouth – he always covers his mouth giving him a stylistic edge and helps him differentiate himself as an artist, and lets people ponder if the voice he has found for himself is through his art which speaks rather loudly.  His upbringing in New York by his wealthy financier parents, as well as  the reckoning that occurred during the 2008 financial crisis and with Bernie Madoff, Alec’s artwork has provoked the art world and individuals to consider how the perils of excess wealth is not as sweet looking as the adorable Monopoly Man appears…

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