A Brief Background On Collecting Street Art

Collecting Street Art

Collecting street art takes on a slightly different nature compared to how traditional art is acquired. The nature itself of street art, which is defined as a type of visual art that is commonly installed or designed in public areas, makes collecting pieces under the category slightly tricky due to a number of reasons (which will be further talked about later in this article).

Too Cool For Cats Rave Remix Print by Barrie J Davies 2023, Unframed Silkscreen print on paper (hand finished), edition of 1/1 A2 size 42cm x 59cm.

In essence, the very idea of “collecting” street art can already raise eyebrows because obviously — how do you even collect it in the first place? While some crazy ideas are actually true such as tearing down an actual chunk of the material on which the art was painted namely brick walls and other hard surfaces, collecting said art can take on milder and less disruptive forms.

A common practice is leaving the artwork in its current location unmoved to keep its true nature intact — which is to be enjoyed by the public. A certificate of authenticity or any proof of validity will then be given to the buyer of the street artwork.

As with any other purchase you make, from your daily groceries to personal hobbies such as an art collection, it’s important to keep several reminders on the top of your mind so as to make sure that not only do you get the bang for your buck, but you also have the peace of mind that your hard-earned cash is in good hands.

First, make sure that the street artwork you have your eyes on is actually authentic. Since the development of modern technology, it’s very easy for people looking to make a quick buck to create imitations of original works and sell them off as their own. To ward off forgeries of their works, many artists leave a personal motif on their creations that are both unique and hard to imitate.

Many artists have struck out on their own by dealing with the issue personally, Banksy — the iconic and mysterious street artist who rose to fame for his recognizable designs — created Pest Control, an official organization that handles matters such as verifying if the artwork is actually made by Banksy or not.

Auctions and galleries are also on the lookout in determining whether street artwork is genuine or not — if you are unsure about purchasing a piece, it’s best to consult nearby art-related institutions since they will most likely have contact with the artists themselves or their representatives.

Several other things to look out for if a piece of street art has caught your eye are the condition of the work itself, the actual size of the artwork, and if you are willing to set aside a budget for regular maintenance in order to preserve the design and vibrancy of colors. Involving yourself closely with the street art community will give you a deeper insight as well in both choosing and handling street art.

 Large dude painting by Barrie J Davies 2022, Mixed media on Canvas, 50cm x 75cm, Unframed and ready to hang.

While collecting street art might seem like a chore in many different ways, owning a piece is definitely a rewarding experience. And leaving the art piece as it is even after acquiring it for public enjoyment is an even more rewarding moment. However, ever true to the nature of street art — the choice is in your hands.

Check out some my available Pop Street art prints.

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