Originally from New York City, Alec Monopoly is the alias of graffiti artist Alec Andon. Once a mystery like Banksy, he has become a slightly more public figure in recent years. The artist has worked his magic in the urban environments of New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, as well as stencilling his trademark caricature of the board game mascot Mr. Monopoly across Europe and Asia.
The focus on the character is symbolic of Wall Street scammer Bernie Madoff, and intended to be taken as a commentary on the billion-dollar bailouts and deregulation given to major banks. His experiences of urban culture produced his signature graffiti style, along with his use of materials including spray paint, stencils, newspaper, epoxies, and varnishes. His artwork is famous for the iconic characters depicted in the graffiti, including childhood favourite Richie Rich, and celebrity icons David Bowie and Twiggy.
Alec Monopoly credits his mother, an oil painter, for his own artistic ambitions. He started drawing and painting at an early age, and began tagging at the age of 12, having grown up in a New York City where graffiti was still widespread. After deciding the traditional academic route of art training wasn’t for him, Monopoly dropped out of college, where he had been studying a double major in art and business.
He moved to Los Angeles in 2006, where he worked with fashion designer Michel Comte. L.A. was where true inspiration for his street art originated, especially as the city wasn’t concerned with graffiti art popping up everywhere. Police would simply pass him by, letting him continue with creating large-scale paintings.
Monopoly works from a studio in Beverly Hills, which is half inside, half outside due to his use of spray paint. The artist works on several pieces at the same time, producing around 70 original artworks each year.
Often colourful and vibrant with other graffiti attributes in the background, Monopoly’s depiction of the tuxedoed character from which his name is taken has become a well-known identifier of his work. Found on walls around New York, Los Angeles, and London, his artwork often comments on real-world issues. He has also created a collection of Monopoly Man figurines and sculptures to compliment his graffiti work.
Alec Monopoly stands out from other graffiti artists in his decision to not vandalize government buildings and properties, instead using abandoned warehouses as his canvas. His works are unconventionally happy and positive contrasting the typical darkness of the art world associated with crime and vandalism.
As a high profile artist, Monopoly has had his work commissioned by WHotel, Tag Heuer, Vitamin Water, Avicii, CoverGirl, and Phillipp Plein, helping the artist gain a large following. Paramount Pictures also hired the artist to design the logo for their production company, INSURGE.
Monopoly’s iconic work has been covered by The Wall Street Journal, London Times, Rolling Stone, and Playboy Magazine, amongst other publications. He has been deemed the most Instagrammable graffiti artist and Artnet said he’s “the most successful artist that art-world insiders don’t take seriously”. He has also featured in a selection of art & lifestyle blogs.