In a Graffiti Reflections on Capitalism, Consumerism, and Corporatism the divisive New York-based street artist Alec Monopoly is attracting headlines again. He opened the exclusive events at the Eden Gallery in Dubai on March 24th
Beside the infamous Hermès collection, shown at 7 PM in the corner new lavish gallery, Monopoly´s new pieces were presented with a club like party beat. There was a live DJ, a bar, upscale catering appropriately located above the extravagant Fashion Avenue in the Dubai Mall.
One could reflect at first sight is this collection a Thought-Provoking Depiction Of Corporate Greed?
The 36-year old’s colorful graffiti pieces have attracted A-list celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Iggy Azalea, and Robert DeNiro, as well as street art collectors.
However, the art establishment seems far from impressed.
If you ask an art-world insider, you're likely to encounter skepticism. As the American blog Gawker once phrased it, the elusive artist's undeniable success is built on selling “dumb art to foolish people for large sums" and is simply to be seen as a "great scam".
Hit pieces aside, the street artist's depictions of business bad guys provide food for thought about consumerism, capitalism, and corporatism.
How does he achieve this?
By portraying well-known characters in the form of Rich Uncle Pennybags (Mr. Monopoly himself), Scrooge McDuck, and Richie Rich — with evocative headlines such as "The World Is Yours" and "Time Is Money".
Is The Art Establishment Feeling Threatened?
The playful paintings convey a critique of Mr. Burnsian corporate greed. They're reminiscent of non-fictional scammers, such as the infamous swindlers of Wall Street: Charles Ponzi, Bernie Madoff, and Jordan Belfort*.
*You know, the penny stocks scammer; "The Wolf of Wall Street".
One might find it hypocritical that Monopoly's supposedly anti-capitalist paintings are being sold for over $70,000 to finance a lavish lifestyle. Still, We cannot help but ask: "is the art establishment feeling threatened?"
Most importantly, what do you think? Are the playful depictions of Mr. Monopoly a perceptive critique of contemporary capitalism, an incencere cash-grab, or perhaps something completely different? Share your opinion with us! Ps: we ourselves got tempted!
Theodore & C.