All eyes on Moniker 2015

05 Oct 2015
3 min read
As the Moniker Art Fair 2015, the premier contemporary urban art fair, draws closer FOUR finds our from exhibition director, Frankie Shea, about what makes this art fair so special and what will be the next for urban and underground art in the mainstream art world…

Tell us more about how the Moniker Art Fair came to be?

Moniker Art Fair, the premiercontemporaryurbanartfair, was born out of protest. I was running a gallery and representing several artists within the street artgenre with great success. The artists had strong markets both primary and secondary and I was keen to secure them wider exposure but could not break into the UKart circuit. So I decided to start our own art fair with like-minded gallerists primarily showcasing established and emerging talent from the street art genre.

Do you feel that this has been achieved?

Yes,we are now a permanent fixture during London’s art week and the only fair that solely exhibits art with roots embedded in urban culture.We intentionally wanted to coincide with Frieze week, with the aim of taking advantage of the thousands of art fans and collectors that descend to London during London’s most important art week.

What do you feel has changed over the last six years in terms of contemporary art in relation to urban culture?

Street art and it’s related subcultures have become more mainstream and widely accepted within the contemporary art world. During the last 6 years Geoffrey Deitchs “Art In The Streets’ exhibition at MOCA broke all attendance records to dateand we see more street artists continuing to blur the lines within the wider contemporary art market. In recent years we see major brands consistently looking to artists from these genres to createengaging andunique content for theirmarketing campaigns.

What do you think it is that has madeMoniker Art Fair, the premiercontemporaryurbanartfair,different from other fairs – why do you think it is so special in your opinion?

Apart from the fact that we’re the only art fair to dedicated to street art and it’s related subcultures, Moniker is known to make art fans and collectors feel welcome as soon as they enter the fair. The street art scene was born from artists, their collectors and like-minded gallerists and the whole scene has been self-perpetuating. Moniker still has this vibe, people come to Monikerand feel at ease viewing and interacting with art and that’s the way it should be in my opinion. There is always great energy at our fair and it’s a real family event too. Of course we are primary here to showcase and sell works by the strongest emerging and established artists from the genre and we’ve become known as a platform that has help launch many artists careers. We’ve supported many artists at an early stage of their careers. Moniker Projects is also known for it’s immersive approach, curating and producing installations within the fair.

How do you select the artists that appear in the fair?

The fair is gallery led. Throughout the year, galleries apply and send forward their proposals and we review and select, with an aim to show a diverse range of contemporary art.

What can visitors expect from this year’s fair?

Highlights this year include a 50ft.wallinstallation that includes work by hyper-realist sculpturist Schoony and site specific works by Ben Eine. Also exhibiting is world-renowned Frenchstreet artist Bom.K and Fatboy Slim’s favourite urban artist, Ryan Callanan. In partnership with Assemble London & Patrón Tequila, Moniker Projects has co-curated a unique dining experience within animmersive setting with artworks on display by the legendary Nick Walker and multi-disiplinary artist Lauren Baker.

With independent and street art being so current, what do you think will be the next step in the evolution process?

Probably more and more ‘legal’ street art spreading further a field than just Shoreditch. Sadly most of what I see in thepublic realms is pretty awful. Street art seems to have become a legal form of art in some postcodes and no longer just considered vandalism.However, I do miss seeing some of the more beautiful crimes appearing over night on our city walls. Publicly funded mural projects continue to spring up globally and this is set to continue. Also community led street art projects are increasing, projects that engage with communities in a language they understand. We’ll of course see more street artists cross over into the wider art market, like how KAWS, Os Gemeos, Shepard Fairey and the likes have already done so successfully.

Find out more about exhibitors and tickets for Moniker Art Fair, the premiercontemporaryurbanartfair here…

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