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10 street thugs who became famous artists at the best art galleries

A lot of graffiti left streets and moved to galleries long ago; that is a victory and tragedy of the street painters. They wanted to become free from the museum frameworks, though, their artworks were cut from walls and sold for millions of dollars.

1. Jean-Michel Basquiat, $US 48.8 Mio, artwork The Foggy Heads.
.Jean-Michel Basquiat became famous for his graffiti in New York: he defaced the walls in the city together with his friend signing his artworks with the nickname SAMO shit. Basquiat played with paints, sold hand-painted t-shirts and sometimes slept in the streets. Once an art expert paid attention to his graffiti then the other one and later all the known art critics in New York were talking about his artworks. The artist got into the headlines and was ranked as the future of the American art.

After Basquiat had got acquainted with Andy Warhol he made a meteorous career. He was a street His life style changed from the talented loafer’s into the bohemian one. His fame, longing for freedom and severe heroin addiction caused his death: he died of a heroin overdose at his art studio at age 27 in 1987 a year later after Andy Warhol’s death.

The highest amount paid for an original work of Basquiat’s was US$ 5.5 Mio for the Profit, US$ 14.6 Mio for the Untitled and US$ 48.8 Mio for the Foggy Heads.

2.Banksy, US$ $1.87 Mio for the piece of artwork the Keep It Spotless (Sotheby's, 2007)

A famous thug whose personality was always accompanied with quarrels, legends and scandals. Banksy became known for his provocative graffiti in the London streets. They had been available for public but suddenly the artworks were cut out of the walls and moved to the art gallery and that was the beginning of his fame and popularity.

Banksy’s grffiti are at the collections of Chris Martin, Christina Aguilera and other celebrities. When he became famous in despite of his will the graffiti artist printed on one of his parody piece of art: I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit for Millions.

Who is he, a troublemaker, a genius or a marketing phantom? No one saw Banksy’s face. The graffiti artist is thought got nothing from his artworks selling. He expressed his attitude to the changing the art into goods in the film Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Recently Banksy was involved into the next scandal. His graffiti in London was covered with paint because of racism, though, frankly speaking the artist mocked at the phenomenon catching the racists in their stupidity.

3.Оz (Sprayer), more than US$ 5000 for a piece of art (according to unofficial information)

Oz is a great and terrible graffiti artist of the German origin. He was imprisoned several times for disorderly conduct. The dwellers of Hamburg thought differently; some of them took the graffiti artist as a vandal and the others said that Hamburg without Oz could be Munich.

This guy marked the space of the city with special signs and tags creating training facilities for attentive eyes.
The artist was died while spraying his next tag; it happened on September 25, 2014. The body of 64-year-old graffiti artist was discovered on the tracks of Hamburg’s subway system. A freshly sprayed tag and a paint can were reportedly found nearby.

4. Chaz Bojórquez, US$ 50 000 for his piece of art the Senor Suerte.

The American who studied sculpture and mathematics in Mexico and spent several years in Japan mastering Japanese calligraphy with his master Yun Chun Chan who else could be more interesting? In his graffiti the graffiti artist was the first who mixed typographical characters and styles with psychedelic styles with Chinese calligraphy on the ground of Mexican folklore closely resonating with urgent international problems.

After solidifying his reputation as a genuine talent in the street art genre, in 1969 Chaz began to focus more on commercial endeavors. Then he was involved in the unreported business. Late 70 s he started on a long journey around the world and his pieces of art could be found in 35 countries all over the world.

5. Os Gemeos, more than US$ 100 000 for the piece of art on the auction.

These two sporting twin brothers from Brazil are well known far outside South America. Their graffiti style is influenced by Brazilian folklore and their work often features yellow-skinned characters with the common family features.

6. Shepard Fairey, US$ 52 350 for the piece the Duality of Humanity

The graffiti artist became widely known during the 2008 U.S. presidential election for his Barack Obama Hope poster. By the way, the president’s PR team appeared to be genius to engage street artists into the election campaign; in that way they managed to attract a great deal of the American young generation to the voting.
Fairey was imprisoned for vandalism more than once, however now he is a recognized artist whose works were exhibited at MoMA and many other exhibitions and museums of art.
Rather a large fragment of the Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop is dedicated to him.

Before the presidential election campaign Fairey became widely known for his two cult pop art posters: the portrait of André Roussimoff a French wrestler (a well known image in the pop art of 1980 s) and his drawings with the abbreviation OBEY, the nickname of the artist and the widely promoted brand.

7. Adam Neate; US$126 612 were paid for his piece of art the Suicide Bomber (Sotheby's, 2007)

He is a graffiti artist and creator of 3D collages with which he has been experimenting for last five years. Neate’s artworks resemble artworks by Bacon, Dali and Picasso; the same surrealistic, crazy though integrated into a city space.

First Neate worked in the street but later he progressively moved to galleries at the invitation of critics and dealers.
More than a hundred of pieces of artworks by Neate were sold on the well known auctions.

8. Nick Walker, US $87 116 were paid for his Moona Lisa a mockery at the La Gioconda by Leonardo da Vinci

He was not the first artist mocked at Mona Lisa. We would like to mention Duchamp who put mustache on Mona Lisa, Banksy who gave her a mortar and Fernando Botero who depicted Gioconda in his primitive style.

9. JR, US $50 333 for the portrait of a boy in favelas (slums) in Brazil.

French street photographer and artist travels and creates his artworks on the way. His described himself as a photograffeur (the word he invented himself which meant something in between photographer and graffiti artist).

JR flyposts large black-and-white photographic images in public locations, in a manner similar to the appropriation of the built environment by the graffiti artist attracting public attention to urgent social problems.

He became well known in 2004 for his project in Paris: the artist has been flyposting photographic images of French young people (both gilded youth and rejects) in affluent areas. The Project was called Portraits of a Generation.

10. Diego Rivera, the auction prices of his artworks are higher than US$ 7 Mio

He is a classic of mural art and an example for a lot of street artists. Rivera was not a hooligan in the proper sense of the word, he did not escape the police and did not graffiti trains with his spray can though his murals were challenging and provocative.

A typical example could be in 1932 -1933 the artist had been working on his mural the Man at the Crossroads at the Rockefeller Center in New York. One of his mural characters was Lenin.
When the lawyers of the Rockefellers demanded to change the Lenin’s image he refused to do that.
A great scandal arose. The mural was covered with paint. The artist was not paid but he had his convictions. Later he reconstructed his artwork at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico.

Rivera decorated dozens of administration and residential buildings with his murals. The most of them survived in Mexico.
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