Urban Art Sale Takes Central London by Storm

This is one of our most eclectic Urban Contemporary auctions so far,’ said Mary McCarthy Dreweatts’ Urban Art specialist. ‘We have great examples across the board. Collectors will be delighted to see the work of artists which never come to auction, including some truly iconic images which no serious Urban Contemporary collection can be without.

The best of the best’ as it has been called, must be the beautiful acrylic screenprint with diamond dust entitled Reach Out and Touch Faith (Marilyn), by one of the most sought after artists of this genre, Russell Young. Signed and dated, this large image (1600 x 1199mm or 63 x47ins) very rarely appears at auction; it comes from a private American collection and is expected to fetch £18,000-22,000 (lot 82). Another piece to adopt a Marilyn image is Pop Tart, 2007 by D*Face (lot 28). This silkscreen printed in a unique combination of colours on Perspex, is his most memorable and popular image (estimated £4000-6000).

JR is possibly the ‘hottest’ artist on today’s Urban Scene and this anonymous French photographer-activist has the cover lot of the Urban Contemporary sale (lot 57). Known for his images of disaffected youth from the Paris ‘banlieu’, JR shows us Adama, Portrait d’une Generation, a close up of a young man pulling a face staring into the lens, and this expected to fetch around £8000-12000. Often referred to as ‘the Cartier Bresson of the 21st century’, he flyposts large black and white photographic images in public places saying that ‘the street is ‘the largest art gallery in the world.’ In October last year, JR won the $100,000 TED prize.

Another artist whose work is very fashionable now is Eine; on his first state visit to America, Prime Minister David Cameron presented President Obama with an Eine canvas and since then the artist’s market value has soared, ensuring that not only was his show in San Francisco a sell out before the doors opened, but that he should also take part in a ground-breaking exhibition of street art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA. Amnesty International has recently commissioned Eine to design a poster for their 50th anniversary. Graffiti ‘true letter form’ purists, will be excited by his brilliantly coloured Graffiti 2006 (lot 11) in spray paint and mixed media on canvas (estimate £2000-3000).

This is the first time that the anti establishment work of Charming Baker has appeared at auction. Collected by the likes of Damien Hirst, Frank Cohen and Alberto Mugrabi, Panda Boy Remix, 2007 encapsulates Charming Baker’s recurrent theme of animals and man’s relationship to them, in this case an eerie half man and half panda figure painted in oil on linen on wood (lot 83) which is expected to fetch around £6000-8000. Another corner stone for an Urban Art collection is the work of Nick Walker, who comes from the Bristol graffiti scene and whose work has become a blueprint for hundreds of emerging artists. Sweet Revenge, 2008 (lot 65) in spray paint on canvas, is typical of Walker’s style combining highly detailed stencilled scenes with humour (estimate £8000-12000). His work has a worldwide following and can be seen in the heavily graffitied scenes of New York in Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut, as well as featuring in a recent Black Eyed Peas music video.

Dreweatts’ Urban Contemporary sale also includes pieces by JR, Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Schoony and of course, Damien Hirst.

This arresting auction will be on view to the public at the Cumberland Hotel near London’s landmark Marble Arch, from 29th September to 10th October. The cutting edge design of the spacious foyer at the Cumberland, a contemporary four-star property in the prestigious Guoman Hotels collection, lends itself perfectly to a major Urban Contemporary auction. The sale will be held at The Cumberland on Monday 10th October at 6.00pm. On view at the same time is Dreweatts’ Luxury sale.

To view the sale catalogue online, please click here

For further press information please contact Vanessa Clewes Salmon: email: Vanessa.wildwood@gmail.com or tel: 020 8458 3288

For information about the Urban Contemporary sale please contact Mary McCarthy: Email: mmccarthy@dnfa.com or tel: 07766366620

For information about viewing and the sale at The Cumberland please contact Leanne Gosford: Email: Leanne.gosford@sirenpr.co.uk or tel: 020 8237 1210

Dreweatts - 26 September 2011