Painting the town

A colourful array of urban art goes under the hammer at Drouot

Nick Walker, Logan Hicks and Mear One are three of the urban artists participating in some irreverent artistic revelry in October as they paint large-scale artworks live on boards in front of the revered Parisian auction house Drouot. The interior, meanwhile, is to be decked out with contemporary urban works – from Banksy to Blek le Rat – that have been collected by auctioneers Digard and Mary McCarthy (of MM Contemporary Arts), and will go under the hammer at 3pm on Friday October 25.

Banksy’s pink pop-art-style piece Sid Vicious (first picture, estimate €60,000-€80,000) hangs alongside Nick Walker’s stencil rendering Paris: The Morning After (estimate €10,000-€12,000) and Os Gêmeos’s Untitled: Boat Installation, first showcased at the Havana Biennale in 2006 (estimate €20,000-€30,000).

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The full list of works being auctioned can be seen on the Drouot website, but other highlights include pieces by the late Keith Haring and graphic artist Shepard Fairey. Haring’s Sneeze (second picture, estimate €500,000-€700,000) and Fairey’s War is Over (estimate €30,000-€40,000) will feature, along with a work by Fairey in aid of CityKids, a New York-based non-profit that supports young people through arts and education programmes. Estimated to fetch €30,000-€40,000, with a minimum of 10 per cent of the hammer price going directly to the charity (it may be higher, depending on the final amount), the piece is one section of a 12-panel installation created by Fairey in collaboration with CityKids in 2010.

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Those in the French capital can also attend a pre-auction talk chaired by auctioneer Marielle Digard at 11am on Thursday October 24, where she will be in discussion with female stars of the contemporary urban-art scene, including McCarthy, photojournalist Martha Cooper (who has extensively documented the New York graffiti scene) and curator Valériane Mondot, also the founder of online graffiti gallery Taxie Gallery.

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