Lucian Freud to Sarah Vine in Dreweatts’ Urban Contemporary Sale

Liam Patel has been collecting Urban Art since he was 12; now at the ripe old age of 15 he has brought together an extraordinary group of 25 cutting-edge lots to be sold at Dreweatts’ Urban Contemporary sale on Wednesday 6th April, to raise money for the Haven House Children’s Hospice.

Unable to do physical charity work for his Duke of Edinburgh Award because he had a broken arm and shoulder, Liam decided to ask some of his favourite artists to donate their work to raise £10,000 for the Children’s Hospice, which offers vital support to children with life-limiting conditions and their parents. Liam then approached Dreweatts to host the sale in their central London branch at 24 Maddox Street W1 and they were only too happy to help by offering the venue, and any extra expertise. ‘I came up with the idea to curate an Urban Art charity auction as the Haven House Children’s Hospice needs to raise around £2m each year to provide fantastic support for children and their families. Even though I won’t be able to raise that amount, every little helps.’ Each piece comes with a certificate of authenticity from the artist and estimates range from £100 to £1,200. The group to be sold for the charity includes works by the likes of Matt Small, Schoony, Handiedan, Mantis, Nick Gentry, Herakut and Arkiv Vilmansa all of whom were delighted to be able to help by donating the proceeds of their pictures.

The rest of Dreweatts’ Urban Contemporary sale also being offered on 6th April, will certainly excite aficionados who have come to expect a stimulating selection from this auction house.

'Everything you are doing is wrong, you are obviously only in it for the money,’ is the cutting remark an influential member of the art world made to Stella Vine; Dreweatts is now offering ‘In it for the Money’(2005), (lot 34), a naked self portrait based on the artist’s life as a stripper and a nightclub hostess. Painted in acrylic on canvas, it is signed, titled and dated and has an estimate of £3,000-5,000. Stella achieved notoriety in 2004 with her controversial portrait Princess Diana with blood dripping from her mouth.

No Urban Art auction can be complete without examples of Banksy’s satirical and often subversive street art. His fame is such that today it is vital to have all the written guarantees of authenticity when buying a Banksy. Amongst the several pieces Dreweatts is selling (all of which have been authenticated), is a signed, dated and stamped Family Target (lot 69), with ‘belt and braces’ authentications by Pest Control as well as an accompanying letter of authenticity from the Lazarides Gallery; it is expected to fetch £30,000-50,000. Another Urban artist from Bristol to have a large international following, is Nick Walker. Morning After Bristol (lot 77) is the ultimate collector’s piece for this artist, as it is part of his famous Morning After series and it has never before been offered at auction. It too is accompanied by a certificate of authentication, this time from Apish Angel; it is signed, it is one of an edition of three and it was bought from the artist by the vendor (estimate £10,000-12,000).

The sale also embraces several American highlights including works by graffiti artists and photographers such as such as Blade, Cope 2, Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper and the first map by Taki 183 (lot 17) ever to be sold at auction. A giant of graffiti art, Taki 183 is unofficially considered by his peers as the pioneer of the tag, and one of the most influential of all graffiti writers. He has recently re-emerged after a 40 year of absence and Dreweatts is selling his first map to appear at auction (£2,000-3,000). Another extremely rare original piece from America to come onto the market, is Blade’s The Music in Me (lot 19, est. £8,000-12,000). Drawn in spray paint on canvas and signed in brown ink, it depicts a New York subway train with tags from The Crazy Five (TC5) and other graffiti artists from 1971-1977. Blade has certainly lived up to his title of ‘King of Kings’, and his ever-changing style and influence over the grammar of graffiti, have made him a legend in his field. On a more poetic level is Zahra, a striking life-sized mixed media figure signed by the Florida born artist, Swoon (lot 39, est. £10,000-15,000).

Anything by Lucian Freud, generally regarded as one of the greatest living artists, is always hotly contested and Dreweatts is offering an unusual, almost caricature-like double-sided pen and ink/brush and ink, Portrait of Stephen Spender (lot 49). This is one of 168 pen and ink drawings made over a period of three months, during the first winter of the Second World War and made while Freud was staying in a boarding house in Capel Curig,Wales with his friends Stephen Spender and David Kentish. It was obviously a landmark trip as here Spender wrote The Backward Son and Freud’s grandfather Sigmund, died. His stay in Wales proved to be highly influential for several reasons, he used the mountains as the backdrop to one of his major early paintings Box of Apples on Wales and as Freud’s mentor Cedric Morris, wrote: ‘It is exciting to notice elements of Freud’s later approach emerging: not only the sense of fleshy (exaggerated) volumes, the density and weight of people’s heads, but also the sense of responsive invention.’ When discussing his portraits, the artist has said, ‘The more I know about someone the more I feel free to re-invent things about them for myself.’ This unusual and witty drawing of Spender is expected to fetch £25,000-35,000.

To view the sale catalogue online, please click here.

For further information on the sale, please contact: Mary McCarthy, email: , tel: 077663 66620

For further press information please contact Vanessa Clewes Salmon: e-mail:, tel: 020 8458 3288

Dreweatts - 22 March 2011