Alec Monopoly is the alias of an unidentified graffiti artist and trap DJ, originally from New York City. The artist has worked in the urban environments of New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Europe and throughout Asia using varied materials (including stencils, spray paint, epoxies, varnishes and newspapers) to subversively depict various iconic pop culture characters.
Life and work
Monopoly is best known for his tuxedoed and top-hatted graffiti character of Monopoly Man, an idea originally inspired by the stockbroker Bernie Madoff. According to John Wellington Ennis writing for the Huffington Post, "In an era of billion dollar bailouts for banks that already own the country and moguls decrying regulation as un-American, the re-contextualization of the childhood symbol of success and wealth almost needed no explanation." Monopoly also pastes up images of Jack Nicholson.
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."
In November 2010 he had his first solo gallery show in New York. In December 2010 he took part in an exhibition at the Mondrian Hotel as part of Art Basel Miami Beach. In 2013 he hosted a yacht party at Art Basel Miami Beach, sponsored by Samsung.
- Bradley Carbone (December 6, 2010). "Art Interview: Alec Monopoly Talks Evading Arrest, Aloe Blacc, and the Mr. Brainwash Hoax". Complex Art & Design. Complex Media. p. 2 of 6. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- John Wellington Ennis (2010-08-27). "John Wellington Ennis: Who Is Alec Monopoly?". The Blog (Huffingtonpost.com). Retrieved 2011-04-13.
- Bradley Carbone (December 6, 2010). "Art Interview: Alec Monopoly Talks Evading Arrest, Aloe Blacc, and the Mr. Brainwash Hoax". Complex Art & Design. Complex Media. p. 4 of 6. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Pablo Perez (April 25, 2010). "Monopoly Man: Interview with Street Artist Alec". The Dirt Floor. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Brock Fetch (November 16, 2010). "Feature: Interview with Alec Monopoly". Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Street Artist Alec Monopoly Is Painting The Mural For Justin Bieber's Movie Premiere". LAist (Gothamist LLC). December 18, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-24.