Provenance Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
This lot was originally purchased from an arts event in New York City's Tompkins Square Park and was requested by Los Angele's MOCA for inclusion in their Art in The Streets Exhibition of 2012.
Cost (real name Adam Cost) and Revs (real name unknown) are best known for bombarding the streets of Lower Manhattan in the early 1990s with their text-based wheat paste flyers. Enigmatic messages such as 'Cost Fucked Madonna' and 'Machine REVS', echoing the scrawled messages of Jean-Michel Basquiat's alter-ego Samo, appeared in proliferation on the back of Walk/Don't Walk pedestrian crossing signals and street lights.
At the opposite end of they scale they also created massive text based murals with paint rollers, often in conspicuous yet inaccessibly high places.
'We think art should be dangerous. Everybody's into safe art, doing safe things in their studio. We're bringing danger back into it. It's got to be on the edge, where it's not allowed.' Revs told Glenn O'Brien in an interview published in Artforum in 1994. 'It's considered mindless vandalism by most people but there's really a lot to be said about a guy who scribbles his name on the wall. Why would a guy risk being hurt to do that?'
These pieces quickly became part of New York's urban cityscape at a time when street art was receiving scant attention.
The collaboration dissolved in 1995, probably as a result of Cost's arrest a few months earlier. Not long after Revs ventured into New York's tunnel system armed with spray paint. He scrawled diary entries, personal histories and ruminations on the walls deep within these underground tunnels. This was, he said, a "personal mission", adding that he "didn't care if anyone ever saw it."
Whilst Cost has recently returned to the studio, Revs continues to avoid the commercial art world. As a result, works such as Untitled, circa 1990, almost never appear on the market.