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Aspect of Vandalism
When asked by Complex Magazine about his brush with the NYPD Vandal Squad, and jumping through a garbage chute in an effort to avoid them, the artist had this to say:
"It didn't hurt, but going down [the garbage chute] was kind of nasty, being in all of that garbage. I was so paranoid, I thought they were tapping my phones. I actually still think they were tapping my phones. When we were setting up the gallery show, there were like four cop cars outside the building, and if the gallery hadn't been connected to a hotel, I wouldn't have gotten out of there. I got out and into a cab and laid down in the back seat. That's the good thing about New York, once you're in a cab you can be invisible."
Although graffiti continues to be conveyed as a crime, in his feature in Juxtapoz Magazine, the artist discussed his best efforts to avoid the vandalism aspect of the street art world:
"I stay away from mailboxes, highways, freeways, and basically any federal and government property. I like warehouses and abandoned buildings. For example I would never hit a coffee shop like the one we’re in: they [the owners] are trying to make it just like I am. I try to be as positive as I can about what I put out there and I try to do it with imagery everyone can identify with. Most people walking by my stuff are not graffiti people or art people, so figuring out a way that everyone can identify with my work is important."
Comparison vs competition
In a December 6, 2010 interview with Complex Magazine, Alec was asked about famous fellow street artist and Banksy prodigy Mr. Brainwash, and his influence on him, as well as other's lack of respect for the artist. Alec had this to say:
His work can be kind of kitschy, but he's helped me a lot. He's given me really great advice. You know, he tells me to stay true to myself, and that I really need to forge my own lane in this industry.
Complex Magazine continued on to ask the artist about his iconic character: "The Monopoly Man is your iconic character. It's a similar idea with which The Made U Look Crew gained notoriety when they bombed [graffitied] eight cars of a New York R train in late 2006. How does your work tie with that?" To which the artist responded:
I've heard of The Made U Look Crew, but I'm not really influenced by them. I'm looking at the Monopoly Man in a different way. Bernie Madoff was actually my first symbol. When the recession first started, he was the icon of the economy tanking. I did a piece of him with monopoly money in the background, and I thought, why not do the Monopoly Man?
- Carbone, Bradley (December 6, 2010). "Art Interview: Alec Monopoly Talks Evading Arrest, Aloe Blacc, and the Mr. Brainwash Hoax". Complex Media. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "John Wellington Ennis: Who Is Alec Monopoly?". Huffingtonpost.com. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2011-04-13.