Moniker has a quick chat with Angelo Madrigale, VP/Director of Contemporary Art at Doyle Auctions, NYC, about the increasing popularity of the genre within the auction world and its ongoing crossover potential in the mainstream art market.
Thanks for talking to us Angelo. Just to help our readers get acquainted could you let us know a little about Doyle and your role within the auction house?
Doyle was founded in 1962, and in 2012 I came on as the Specialist for America’s first Street Art auction.
Because Doyle has a specialty in handling estates, the variety of what we may see can differ greatly, and it requires all of us to be diligent and thorough as we appraise and evaluate a wide assortment of fine art, furniture, decorative items, jewelry, editions and much much more.
[To that end,] the Doyle team has always been incredibly supportive of new projects, Street Art being one of them, and I sincerely appreciate their trusting me to try new things that I feel are exciting and important.
The urban/contemporary market has fluctuated wildly in terms of its profitability in the last 15 years – has that been notable from your perspective? Has it taken time for the collecting world to trust the investment potential in these art scenes?
One of my major concerns in creating a Street Art auction was to help bring attention to an art movement that was then, and is still now, growing and evolving – my hope was to introduce collectors, private dealers and institutions to artists I felt were important.
As long as Street Art continues to evolve, I think we will see the market evolve with it. While there are now many auction houses both in the US and around the globe that successfully offer Street Art, and there are of course excellent galleries hosting important exhibitions, there’s much more that can be done.
Further positive coverage from the arts press – as well as landmark exhibitions, such as the Museum of the City of New York’s “City as Canvas” show, help push the market forward and continue to cement the credibility of the movement in the mainstream.
Have the names of interest changed in that respect? Everyone started out looking for the next Banksy and that will I assume have significantly shaped the kinds of artists that were initially prominent. Now that urban art has expanded into much broader spectrums, which names are starting to come to the forefront of the auction world?
I think that since 2012, which was of course just a few years ago, we’ve seen several great artists become far more sought after.
Os Gemeos and Invader are two names, who, while they’re of course obviously well known to fans of Street Art, have since crossed over to be highly desired by major collectors who may be much newer to their work, and to Street Art in general.
I’m sure in the years to come, many more artists will follow suit. I personally think the work of ME NY and Clint Mario could be two of those in particular.
How much are you seeing people putting items back into auction? I’d wondered whether it’s largely too early for people to be trying to get a bigger return on urban and contemporary work yet…
This is a trend that is not at all unique to Street Art. There are now a lot of collectors that are essentially part-time dealers, and I assume for them, part of the fun of collecting is trading and selling, like they may have done (or still do) with baseball cards and comic books when they were younger.
All markets ebb and flow, and it’s impossible to know how an artist may be perceived in the future, so my advice is to tune out as much of the noise of business and economics and focus on what draws you personally to an artist’s work.
If you’re investing in what personally brings you joy, what the art market may bear on a given day might not be important.
Finally, could you give us your opinion on who you would personally be buying within these art scenes?
There was a lot at this past Moniker Fair that I was excited to see. Skewville and ASVP are friends, and they actually both showed together at an exhibition I did at Doyle – the first selling exhibition (not auction) in the company’s history. I both personally enjoy their work and believe they have strong futures ahead of them.
I also think that Superchief Gallery is discovering a lot of great young artists including Penelope Gazin and Yu Maeda. I am always excited to see what they’re up to, especially now that they have at least three galleries spread across the county.