New US auction brings Street Art to Bonhams on Sunset Boulevard

Urban Art
29 Oct 2012
Los Angeles

Los Angeles – Bonhams Los Angeles is delighted to announce its inaugural Urban Art auction which will be held on October 29, 2012. The sale in Los Angeles follows the success of "Art in the Streets" exhibition at the city's Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA).

This auction, the first of its type to be held in America, features historical works by pioneering graffiti artists, as well as pieces by contemporary artists who have redefined the genre. Since 2008, when the first sale was held in our London galleries, Bonhams has consistently proven itself to be the market leader, achieving a number of world-record prices and a significant following. Our London auctions regularly include the work of some of the biggest names in the field, including Banksy, Blek le Rat, Shepard Fairey, JR, Futura 2000 and Os Gemeos, while also introducing a number of emerging artists.

Highlights from the Los Angeles auction include Banksy's iconic "Lenin on Rollerblades (Who Put the Revolution on Ice?)" (est. $30,000-50,000) and "Winnie the Pooh" (est. $50,000-80,000).

Urban Art continues to be one of the most exciting and rapidly developing sectors of the art market. Bonhams is excited to be hosting the next auction in LA and entries are still being invited. Urban Art specialist, Gareth Williams, who first launched the highly successful format in London, comments, "We are bringing the sale to Los Angeles because of the huge level of interest we have received from Californian collectors. Last year's critically acclaimed "Art in the Streets" exhibition at MoCA and the numerous sell-out shows by leading Urban artists, seems to have captured the public imagination here.

The success of street art also lies in its universal accessibility. It is freely available for the public to view and carries none of the exclusive connotations often associated with the fine art world. It is also an ephemeral art form, disappearing as quickly as it appears and in an attempt to address this many artists have created permanent artworks which remain true to their street roots. DIY techniques, such as stencil spray painting, wheat pasting, and the incorporation of street furniture/ found objects are integrated with re-appropriated street imagery. The works are often politicised and champion the underdog."

William's own fascination with DIY culture has inspired him to write his new book Cut and Shut on the phenomenon of Creative Salvage in design and art. The book examines the early careers of a number of pioneering furniture makers / artists such as Joe Rush, Tom Dixon, Ron Arad and Mark Brazier-Jones – all of whom operated in London in the early 1980s. With no professional training, these creators defied convention by producing work from materials as diverse as concrete, scaffolding, scrap metal, broken glass, military vehicles and found objects.

The Bonhams illustrated auction catalogue will be available online in the weeks preceding the sale at

Preview: October 26-29, Los Angeles

Auction: October 29, Los Angeles


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

  1. Gareth Williams
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5879
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5883

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