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Performance of Street Art

  • Popular Street Art
March 23, 2014
Ana Bambic Kostov specializes in contemporary art writing, editing, content creation and management. Connect via LinkedIn

Reminiscing on the beginnings of street art, it appears quite incredible this style of argumentative nature has reached the high ground on the art market. The specific nature of street art seemingly imposes a limited potential concerning the its financial performance, since it is often and still considered vandalism by diverse authorities. Graffiti writers usually embark on this risky creative journey without having any commercial idea, driven with strong desire to articulate their creative persona publicly often deliberately disregarding rules and regulations.

Popular Street Art
Futura 2000

However, today we recognize a whole army of street artists who started out in the streets, but transferred their work to the studio, making it portable, ownable and, most importantly – sellable. The street art craze has gone so far in the past decade that some of the street artwork inseparably attached to walls has been cut out from architectural objects and sold together with the rugged backdrop reaching eye-popping prices. Just remember the Banksy scandal related to the Miami auction, and this is not an isolated case. Theft attempts are made on Banksy’s stencils persistently, while communities have taken it upon themselves to preserve this, ironically, ephemeral treasure. Leaving the battle for walls and pieces aside, the commercial success of street art is undoubtful, rendering the style one of the smartest art investments in the contemporary art market.

Popular Street Art

Art Market Trends

An art market index for street art has been created by Art Market Analyses and it is among the highest on the contemporary art scene. Allowing the presumption that street art is still quite new to the financial scene, some of the less liquid artists have been purposefully omitted from their study. The reason behind this is that the majority of collectors usually invest in the most frequently traded artists on the current market. The study encompassed some of the greatest names of the scene, concretely naming D*Face, Faile, Futura 2000, Os Gêmeos, Hambleton, Invader, Johanson, JonOne, LA II, Dr. Lakra, Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Banksy.

The performance of street art is best assessed by comparing it to the performance of another, habitually prosperous style category. One of the most sought after styles on the market is American Abstract Expressionism, with an average net return rate of 8.7% for the category. The unpredictability is considered to be at a about the same level as for the stock market. Having in mind this performance is considered excellent, the geometric average net return rate for Street Art comes at 4.2%, which is not bad at all for a style largely traded for only about a decade.

Popular Street Art
Shepard Fairey

Collecting Street Art

Considering all the facts, the performance of street art is considered lucrative, although not extraordinarily. Still, all of the statistics have exceptions, so when some of the most famous street artists are analyzed separately, they do exhibit excellent art market performance, defeating the general index. Individual performances of creatives such as Banksy, Os Gemeos and Shepard Fairey are remarkable, which justifies including their works in an investment oriented collection.

Certainly, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the art market trends when it comes to street art, because the category is young, booming and it offers a vast and promising talent pool, perhaps even larger than any other style.

Popular Street Art
Os Gemeos