Thirty years ago, the street art movement became the heir apparent to the Pop Art movement that preceded it. Transgressive, flashy, and avant-garde, street art went from publicly visible spaces for everyone to see, to the private halls of art galleries worldwide.
Now at the beginning of a new decade, the art world is similarly having its doors once again blown open by a new wave of digital artists, infused with the genius of their pop art and street art predecessors. Buttressed by the development of NFT technology, contemporary street and pop artists are able to preserve their work and reach new audiences in a way not seen since the advent of graffiti art decades ago.
At the heart of this transformation is the ability of NFT technology to liberate modern artists from the ephemerality of their work, and the crowded art market. Given its intrinsic fleeting nature, street art is transitory and can be viewed by anyone, but also destroyed with a quick whitewash.
This fleeting quality also limits its monetization by the majority of street artists. Even some of Banksy’s most well-known pieces that are stenciled onto the sides of buildings are not directly owned by him, despite their existence as a form of art that has been legally recognized in some jurisdictions (RIP 5Pointz).
However, NFT technology has given a golden ticket to contemporary artists who can now capture their work in perpetuity, and derive revenue from their work. Street art primarily served as a transitory piece of art that only served as a marketing tool for artists to then go on and have successful gallery careers - a la Keith Haring. Now this entire subset of artists can formalize the relationship between the work, its creator, and its buyer, so that ownership can be established for future sales on the secondary art markets.
Beginning June 14 and lasting for 5 days, Portion will launch Street x Pop Art Week, a curated auction showcasing 16 renowned contemporary artists, as listed above. Day 1 features Jeremy Penn, Demit, Vika Costa, and Alan Jeffery.
Learn more about the artists and their works that will go up for sale on Portion:
Brooklyn-based modern artist Jeremy Penn (@jeremypenn), was born in 1979 in New York City. He studied Fine Art and holds degrees from both the University of Maryland and Pratt Institute. Since his first solo exhibition in 2008, his works have been exhibited globally and received honors from curators at museums such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 2017, Penn’s work was studied and exhibited alongside Picasso & Rauschenberg at the University of Michigan’s Museum of Modern Art. Penn’s paintings are held within some of the most prestigious institutions and modern art collections in the world.
In 2018, Penn cofounded Good Luck Dry Cleaners, a speakeasy-style gallery that showcased the work of street artists from around the globe and partnered with brands including Saks Fifth Avenue and Lululemon to help them incorporate art into the ethos of their corporate culture.
Includes: 1/1 NFT (MP4 Animation; 1080px X 1080px) + Original physical artwork (Spray paint and UV ink on museum acrylic; 30 x 30 in).
Includes: 1/1 NFT (Animated MP4)
Demit (@Demit) studied fine art at the University of California, Berkeley. He played as a professional soccer player in Major League Soccer and worked as a Creative Director for adidas.
In 2020, Demit began to pursue his passion of painting full-time. His style has been heavily influenced by simplified lines and primary colors, often compared to the likes of Picasso and Matisse.
Demit has been fascinated by the concept of eternal youth living inside of everyone. He believes as people get older, it is imperative to maintain and nurture that inner child – free to make mistakes and create without bounds. Thematically, all of his pieces focus on channeling that inner child by allowing artistic expression without the boundaries we internalize from our experiences with the world.
Within the past year, he has garnered purchases from celebrity clients, collaborated with top fashion brands, and worked to create a privately auctioned piece for the Picasso family.
Currently, Demit lives between his studios in New York City and Los Angeles.
“A Beautiful Mess” (left)
Includes: 1/1 NFT + Original physical artwork (Custom Framed acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 in.)
“Flower Boy” (right)
Includes: 1/1 NFT + Original physical artwork (Custom framed acrylic on paper)
Vika Costa's (@vika_costa) work bridges pop culture and fashion in provocative ways. She uses abstract shapes and bright colors to evoke passionate emotions in fantasy-like, cartoonish figures.
Vika grew up in Saint Petersburg, Russia in a family of artists and started painting at an early age. She attended St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Art and began to explore the world beyond Russia at a young age while working as a fashion model. Her work is influenced by her travels to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Vika is drawn to and inspired by fashion history, the intricacies of Gothic architecture and iconic figures who have influenced our epoch and the way we look at fashion, culture and style today.
In her own words, “My work and inspiration to paint comes to me when I am about to fall asleep, yet I am aware of being awake and fully aware of my thoughts. During that magical moment, everything gets louder and brighter."
Includes: 1/1 NFT (1080px X 1080px; MP4) + Original physical artwork (Acrylic on Canvas; 24” x 30”)
"The DiCaprio of Wall Street" (right)
Includes: 1/1 NFT (MP4)
Alan Jeffery is a self-taught street artist, whose keen eye for detail, and distinctive imagination shines through in every piece that he creates. His works range from traditional black & white, to colorful "Pop Art," and everything in between. "AJ" considers his biggest influence to be life itself, drawing inspiration from the places, people, and unique environments he has encountered. Born in Englewood, NJ, he currently resides and works out of Wall, NJ. Alan Jeffery's work can be seen at galleries, businesses and homes worldwide.
“Fashion Killer” (left)
Includes: 1/1 NFT + Original physical artwork (Mixed Media. Acrylic paint over hand laid collaged canvas; 18 x 24 in)
“Venomous Gaze” (right)
Includes: 1/1 NFT + Original physical artwork (Spray paint and acrylic on canvas; 20 x 20 in)
Tune into Street + Pop Art Week on Portion from June 14-18.
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