Friday, July 15, 2016

Collecting Street Art: Have Room on Your Wall for a Wall?

By Paul Sullivan
Jessica Goldman Srebnick with “Billboard #3” by Alexandre Farto, who also goes by Vhils, in her Miami Beach home. Credit Scott McIntyre for The New York Times
Jessica Goldman Srebnick, chief executive of Goldman Properties, a real estate developer, is in a unique position as a collector: She owns both the walls on which street artists paint and pieces that hang in her home. Her company has offered street artists a wall on the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery in Manhattan since 2008. Three artists a year have the opportunity to use the space, and after their time is up, the wall is whitewashed so someone else can begin. “We had recognized that Keith Haring was one of the first to create these public art walls,” Ms. Srebnick said. “It was a nod to him and a nod to public art and street art.”[link]

Matthew Eller, a real estate lawyer and investor in Brooklyn, said he had built a collection of hundreds of pieces of street art by simply getting to know the artists themselves. That is not much different from how collectors of contemporary artists in the early stages of their careers have done it for decades. “You go to their shows and buy a print for $20,” Mr. Eller said. “But pretty soon, they invite you out to their private opening. If you really like someone, there are a lot of different artists who have print sales once or twice a year, and it’ll be 25 or 50 percent cheaper than a gallery.” That’s not exactly buying a wall and carting it home, but it is in keeping with the spirit of street artists.