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alec monopoly

How renowned street artist Alec Monopoly painted his fantasy into existence

“CHA-CHING!” should’ve chimed every time someone walked through the front doors at Alec Monopoly’s “CA$H CA$H BANG BANG” celebration at the Eden Fine Art Gallery in SoHo.

Outside the gallery was a red carpet rolled over a sidewalk to protect Alec’s Balenciaga sneakers, his motorcade of Ferraris and Lamborghinis decorated the intersection of Broom St and Mercer, and the gallery’s windows were lined with scattered balloon letters spelling happy birthday.

Eden Fine Art

It’s easy to understand why the atmosphere felt almost heaven-like. Alec was in a room full of his creations and amongst people that put a price on what he made with his hands. Eden’s four-level gallery was separated by glass staircases – each having their own bar, curated sounds by DJs Alexandra Richards and Alix Brown, and unique artworks at the event.

This was all while a gorgeous waitstaff served pink grapefruit Bellini champagne cocktails and food trucks made cheese covered french fries in miniature Monopoly-inspired top hats.

Eden Fine Art

Guests on the bottom floor were entertained by a virtual graffiti board as they weaved through two sperate rooms trying to get a grip on what to do next.

The main floor was filled with gold and black balloons which were blown up in celebration of two birthdays Alec’s 32nd and his new gallery-artist partnership with Eden Fine Art.

On the third level, people waited for the B-day boy as they stood in a room that had an illustrious graffiti-covered cake topped with a Monopoly man and handheld cash counters loaded with Alec Monopoly money.

The top floor is where I met Alec, as gold chains encrusted with diamonds swayed around his neck, keeping Alec’s body balanced with his aristocratic aura.

Kulture Hub caught up with the graffiti artist to see what he had to say about how far along his artwork has come, the Eden Fine Art Gallery partnership, his Robert De Niro inspired art installation, and what has kept him hustling.

Imagine selling your first piece of art at 12-years-old for $500 to having your works priced at $250,000 20 years later. This is a destiny Alec dreamt daily.  Every birthday he would blow out his candles wishing for one thing — to become a famous artist.

Eden Fine Art

From day one, he believed in himself. Alec explained,

“I’ve known ever since I was a little kid. Every birthday I would blow out the candles and wish that I  would be an artist, a famous artist. Now I’m living my dream…”

In a way, Alec has painted his reality. His depictions like that of the Monopoly Man playing “Goyard Golf” with Richie Rich is definitely a representation of a fantasy he’s always wanted to live in. Alec spoke of painting his reality into existence. He said,

“I’m living my dream and I’m creating a fantasy world with my artwork that I live in as well.”

Even though Alec has developed himself into a world-renowned street artist painting his depiction of American socio-politics on many foreign urban spaces, he hasn’t forgotten his NYC graffiti roots.

Eden Fine Art

That’s why he felt “very grateful” and had to “bring it back home” to one of the best art galleries in NYC after a whole decade. He’s so NY and his show which was inspired by Robert De Niro’s films proved that an upbringing in the Big Apple is apart of your soul that is really hard to shake. Alec vocalized how he was inspired by the Taxi Driver actor and how important his NY roots are to his art. He said,

 For me, I’m just inspired by Di Niro. I think he is an NY icon and he’s done a lot for this city. So, this is me honoring him as one of the best actors of all time…

Alec continued,

I’m blessed and I’m very grateful to be showing here [NYC]. Graffiti was born in NYC and to be a street artist that has developed since then, it’s amazing. I’m very grateful.

With all of this success, my guy, Alec should retire soon right? No way! He is perfecting his craft every day.

Eden Fine Art

He can’t give up his addiction to seeing vibrant colors quickly escape an aluminum can cage onto a canvas. “Spray painting is instant gratification,” said Alec. He won’t ever let clout get to his head either. In regards to becoming a product of American greed, Alec thinks that staying humble, getting out there in the streets, and continuing to graffiti keeps him grounded.

This is definitely a path young artists should take — painting your fantasies into existence. But in order to paint the perfect portrait, it takes practice, dedication, and self-confidence. Alec had a message for up and coming artists across the globe. He said,

“Just keep working… Working works. You have to be dedicated. You have to work every single day, all day at it. That’s what I did!”

Pull up to Eden Fine Art Gallery and check out some of Alec and other talented artists’ artworks. Who knows? Maybe the Monopoly Man swag surfing on a dollar sign might inspire you to go out there and get what you want. Stay inspired!

alec monopoly

Alec Monopoly is the most fire anonymous street artist since Banksy

Art is second nature for Alec Monopoly. As he was learning to write he was learning to draw. He grew up in NYC and is the son of a financier and an oil painter. His mother was the artist, who serves as one of his greatest inspirations.

Monopoly is a true artist, constantly creating new pieces, as long as he is not eating or sleeping. Alec showcased his talents at a very young age, selling his first painting at 12 years old for $500.

His passion turned into a career when his street art and graffiti in the Meat Packing District caught the eye of NYC real estate developer Todd Cohen. When Cohen offered to buy 10 of his pieces, Monopoly’s success began.

Alec took inspiration from Bernie Madoff, the financial crisis, and the Monopoly board game, creating pieces exhibiting his depiction of capitalistic greed.

It’s amazing how he put all of his inspirations together to create art that would convey the corrupt American banking industry. Check out what he said in a Forbes interview back in 2015,

“I was playing Monopoly and watching the news, and I saw Bernie Madoff being arrested. And it hit me, it was like a light bulb and, that night, I started a canvas of a Monopoly guy that I never finished. It’s a Monopoly guy half-painted, and I went out on the street and just started tagging the Monopoly guy. The response was so quick. It was picked up on the Internet and in magazines, so I just went crazy with it.”

Alec made the world his canvas, tagging his images of the Rich Uncle Penny Bags all over the globe from NYC…

To Paris where he finds a lot of raw inspiration…

And you already know he had to get it poppin’ in Miami too.

It was Alec’s big move from NY to Cali that established him as a unique artist, bringing his Wall St. influenced art to places like Melrose and Sunset Blvd.

Monopoly’s art is a hit with the rich and famous. He has won the attention of actors and artists alike. Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, Seth Rogan, Benecio Del Toro, and Robert Dinero have all bought pieces from him. Back in 2013, he also collaborated with Justin Beiber where he created a mural live on the red carpet for Beiber’s hit film, Justin Beiber’s Believe. 

Alec Monopoly’s creativity doesn’t stop there! The street’s prophet also sprays images of other wealthy pop-culture figures from childhood to join the Monopoly Man…

Like the homie, Richie Rich…

And Uncle Scrooge.

Monopoly draws inspiration from pop culture as well. Peep his interpretations of celebrity icons such as Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Jack Nicholson, Goldie Hawn and Muhammed Ali.

It’s interesting to see how his brand extends way beyond just his huge murals and tagged up pieces. Monopoly has teamed with hotels, jewelry companies, and clothing brands showcasing his talents.

Here he collaborated with W Maldives Retreat and Spa.

Alec is also the art provocateur of TAG Heuer.

Just killing another runway show because he really does this.

He has managed to do all of this while concealing his identity, either with a hand over his mouth, a dust mask, or a bandana. Even while I was watching him in an interview with his mask off he never revealed his true identity.

The craziest part is that Alec isn’t even his real name.

Want to check out some of his latest work?  You can find it at the Eden Fine Art Gallery. Alec’s art will be showcased through Dec. 30.