Nick Walker on Bloomberg:

‘Banksy’s Rival Nick Walker Sells 750,000 Pounds of Street Art’
street art

April 19 (Bloomberg) — Nick Walker, an old spray-mate of fellow British street artist Banksy, sold 750,000 pounds ($1.5 million) of paintings and prints this week at the start of his first one-man show in the U.K., the gallery said yesterday.

All but two of 60 original Walker works on offer, many featuring his anarchical alter ego, “The Bowler-Hatted Vandal,” found buyers within hours at the show in Shoreditch, east London, the shows curator said in an interview. Prices at the exhibition, which started with a private view on April 17, ranged between 2,000 pounds and 35,000 pounds.

“I’m proper pleased,” said Walker in a telephone interview. “I couldn’t believe anything like this could have happened.” Walker, 39, said demand for his work had gone “pretty crazy” after Bonhams’s Urban Art auction in London in February. At that sale, his 2006 spray-paint-on-canvas “Moona Lisa,” showing La Giaconda exposing her bottom, sold for a record 54,000 pounds with fees, more than 10 times the upper estimate.

Walker said that he had got know Banksy in Bristol, western England, in the late 1990s when he was invited to be part of the “Walls on Fire” group of graffiti artists.

“We don’t talk too much now,” he said.



V for Vandals

Screen print in colours.  Hand signed & numbered in pencil by the artist.

Sold in Seconds

Two new Walker prints were issued online in editions of 150. These sold out within seconds, said Snelle. The complete edition of a third new print, titled “Life’s 2 Short,” was reserved for the first 75 people in the line. Some people were photographed with numbered certificates to ensure they didn’t sell their place.

“We had at least 60 people camping out the night before to make sure they were at the front.  For a lot of people it’s all about being part of a memorable experience. It’s a bit like going to Glastonbury.”

Dale Clark, a property developer from Hoxton, east London, queued through the night to buy one of the prints and a 4,500- pound painting.

“This was the first art show I’ve been to,” Clark said in an interview. “It was manic. There were people everywhere, red dots everywhere. This kind of art is all about impulse and passion.”

For some it’s also about trying to make a quick profit. At least half a dozen “Life’s 2 Short” prints were being “flipped” on the Web site priced up to 13,000 pounds. At the time of writing, the prints had bids of up to 2,272.22 pounds and none had been sold.

More than 500 people had crowded into the gallery for the private view. More than 20 of them had flown from the U.S. especially for the show, he said.

Empires State

Screen print in colours.  Hand signed & numbered in pencil by the artist.

Laser Beams

“People now realize that there’s more to street art than just Banksy,” said Snelle, who earlier in the week had laser- beamed Walker images on Big Ben and the Bank of England to promote the show.

Other street art aficionados remain to be convinced that Walker is the new Banksy.

The auction record for Banksy is the $1.9 million paid for the 2007 painting “Keep it Spotless” at Sotheby’s “Red” charity sale in New York in February, according to the saleroom result tracker Artnet.

2011 – A New Era

2011 has seen the collectors of urban art, move back into the driving seat.  It now really seems as though the revival of this movement which was originally pioneered by Jean Michelle Basquiat & Keith Haring, seems to be coming the new form of ‘Pop Art’.

The demographics have also widened, with new collectors coming into this area, never seen before. From Africa to the Arabic peninsula to the Far East & Aisia.  Not to mention the deepening thrust into the existing area of Europe & The America’s.