ΔLΞC Monopoly opened his first solo exhibition in LA, “Park Place,” March 14th, 2013, at street art gallery LAB Art. The show features 360 paintings spanning his career, including new paintings created exclusively for the show. ALEC Monopoly is renown for incorporating Monopoly Man, the Monopoly board game’s mascot, into his street art, paintings, and graffiti. This exhibition also features collaborations with Richard Corman, famed New York celebrity portrait photographer, and Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody. Hasbro Inc., the toy company, has been maintaining a high profile since creating a new “cat” game piece to replace the “iron.” Inspired by Hasbro’s new Monopoly game piece creation, ALEC Monopoly teamed up with Adrien Brody, who donated his $500,00 1964 Pontiac Catalina convertible specifically for the LAB Art “Park Place” exhibition. (Brody also bought $20,000 worth of ALEC Monopoly’s art, according to TMZ, as well donating a Rolls Royce for artist to use as a canvas.) Brody was on hand, along with Tara Reid, Jeremy Piven and Gregory Siff.
ALEC Monopoly’s art has come a long ways since tagging throughout the city. His work now blurs the line between corporate criticism and corporate sponsorship. Clad in Monopoly-themed clothing, black top hat, with a dark bandana concealing his identity, ALEC Monopoly was omnipresent as a living embodiment of his artwork. The artist consistently maintained an air of mysterious anonymity even while conversing and taking photos with the collectors and celebrities.
Subversively, ALEC Monopoly maintains a distance while simultaneously fitting into the wealthy Los Angeles art scene. Much of ALEC Monopoly’s work critiques human and corporate greed by reinterpreting the iconic board game, one that can only be won by forcing your opponent into bankruptcy. In an rare case of sanctioned appropriation, Hasbro, Inc. has condoned and supported ALEC Monopoly’s work. While producing the ALEC Monopoly show, LAB ART curator, Iskander Lemseffer, ran across an old friend who coincidentally was working for Hasbro, Inc. It seems Hasbro sees ALEC Monopoly as their own “Campbell’s Andy Warhol.” Further blurring art with commerce, ALEC Monopoly has plans to sell one of his paintings for a whopping $3 million…in Monopoly money. This might mark the first time that board game money has been used as legitimate currency in a legal business transaction!
ALEC Monopoly and photographer Richard Corman are currently collaborating on a world tour for W Hotels. The tour kicked-off last September, 2012, at the W Hotel in Mexico City. Corman, renown Madonna photographer from the early 1980’s, was extremely impressed with ALEC Monopoly’s graffiti and contacted W Hotels to find ALEC Monopoly. W Hotels made the connection and subsequently arranged a live tour sponsored by W Hotels, Vitamin Water, and Madonna’s longtime manager, Guy Oseary, through Oseary’s gallery (co-owned by concert super-promoters Live Nation), Rock Paper Photo Gallery. While the tour dates have yet to be set in stone, we know the pair will be performing at the W Hotels in Singapore, Paris, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and New York. For the tour, Corman exhibits 14 of his Madonna portraits while ALEC Monopoly tags his street art directly onto both the hotel and Richard Corman’s Madonnas.
ALEC Monopoly’s “Park Place”
LAB ART Gallery, 217 S. La Brea Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Open Tuesday-Saturday between the hours of 10 AM – 5 PM
All photos by Alex Gordon, except LAB Arts building photo courtesy of LAB Arts, and W Hotel Mexico City photos courtesy of mr-fame.com.