Although his true identity is shrouded in mystery, Los Angeles-based Alec Monopoly is one of today’s most recognized graffiti artists.
In Monopoly’s tableaux, done on city surfaces, newsprint, sheet music or canvas, his work typically depicts the mustachioed, top-hat-wearing, Monopoly board game character performing a variety of activities. From sprinting with a moneybag under one arm to spinning turntables as a DJ, Monopoly uses cartoonish illustrations as his own political commentary and in the process has generated his own recognizable style of street art.
Inspired by the financial crisis of 2008, the first real figure Monopoly painted was Bernie Madoff, whom he considers the ultimate symbol of the financial collapse. Now using a broad range of well-known public figures as his subjects, both fictional and real, Monopoly creates works that speak to current events in international political and pop culture realms.
Growing up in New York City with a classically trained painter as a mother, Monopoly considers himself a lifelong artist. Eschewing formal training for his pursuit of creating street art, Monopoly has established himself as one of the foremost artists of this genre. His unique style takes a lighthearted approach rather than the typical grim slant of street art, differentiating him from his contemporaries and giving his art a relatable quality.
Monopoly exhibited for the first time in Hong Kong during Art Basel 2015 and opens his first solo show in May 2015 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok.