Home Articles An Inside Look at: Alec Monopoly

An Inside Look at: Alec Monopoly


If you’re from the “typical” art world, you might not have even heard of street artist Alec Monopoly – and if you have, the chances are, a lot of what was said wasn’t very kind, shall we say. In some circles, there is believed to be a “traditional” path to becoming a successful artist. You won’t find any mention of an “art degree” in this man’s portfolio.

Could there be a good reason for that? Several sources found online actually recommended staying away from expensive art schools, claiming them to be a waste of time and money. How can this be so? Well, apparently, most “fine art” programs aren’t actually very good at teaching traditional artistic disciplines such as painting and drawing at all, preferring to focus more on abstract and “modern” art instead.

The Internet: A Harsh Place to Be

Alec Monopoly is the alias of an anonymous street and graffiti artist, in much the same vein as Banksy – his outlook is clearly very different, but whilst it is impossible to verify, something about his work suggests he probably didn’t attend one of those expensive “fine art” programs we were just mentioning.

Art critics don’t take him very seriously – they question who is buying his art, some people even think he’s just a joke – but digging a little deeper under the mindless criticism from armchair evaluators, you’ll find some great advice for those who enjoy Alec’s art, produce “not so serious” art themselves, or simply enjoy collecting these types of artworks.

Faith Based Events

A Reminder: What is Art?

If you create art for a hobby, it is just as valid as art as the pieces on display in museums. Art does not have to have deeply hidden representations about our society, it doesn’t even have to have a meaning behind it; sure, it can, and if you enjoy that kind of art, good for you!

A good understanding of the fundamentals of art is a solid starting place for sure, but if you aren’t going to get that from an expensive art school anyway, how useful is that degree really. And I’d say Alec certainly does have a good understanding of the fundamentals anyway – maybe he studied at an academic art atelier (workshop) for a while? Or maybe he picked up his skills tagging on the streets as a teenager?

It’s okay for people to love different kinds of art – realistic portraits, abstract collages, cartoons, comic books, and let’s not forget that three-dimensional art such as sculpture counts too, as does, movies, novels, dance/ballet, and even music. If you personally think somebody else’s taste is poor, well, let’s hope you didn’t pay for their art!

The current culture of social media will often cause people to be much too hard on themselves – especially if they are creating works just for a hobby. How can anybody truly explore and create in the way they want when being surrounded by so much negative energy?

Alec Monopoly seems to be acutely aware of all the above. And do you know what? He’s doing all the better for it. In fact, in a funny way, considering his trademark character… some might say, he’s laughing all the way to the bank.

The Reality: Alec is a Smash Hit

Just a few short years ago, Alec was the seventh most searched artist in Artnet’s Price Database. Whilst that position has fallen somewhat, this tends to happen as artists rise in profile – you don’t need to search Artnet to find prices for Alec’s work in 2021. Google will find you scores of listings at places such as Eden Gallery, and unusually, Alec now works mostly on a commission basis anyway. Yes, he’s that busy. Maybe not one to be taken so lightly after all then?

Alec’s got over 1.2 million Instagram followers, and his paintings have been snapped in the backgrounds of the homes of celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Miley Cyrus.

Alec uses the urban environments of New York City, London, Los Angeles, and other major world cities as a backdrop. He overlays these with financially apocalyptic news cuttings, his signature depiction of Mr. Monopoly, and a twist of satirically blended Pop Art, a little dose of cultural criticism and a smidge of social commentary.

Does that really sound so different from the traditional art world to you? Two solo museum exhibitions (as of 2019), sell-out shows across the globe, and countless artists on social media who have clearly been inspired by this man to create what they want to create.

Call him anything you like, armchair critics, but you can’t deny this – he’s both successful and inspirational.