Need Money? Sell Your Street Art at Auction

February 7, 2013 | Bucky Turco

Increasingly, more and more auction houses are becoming receptive to selling work by street artists, but they usually do so by folding a few lots into their contemporary art sales. But not at Doyle New York. They let the street art genre stand on its own and for their inaugural auction last October, 70 percent of the work sold, bringing in around $130,000 according to Doyle’s Angelo Madrigale. On April 8th, they’re holding their second major auction of street and graffiti art. Interested? Here’s a few basics to keep in mind.

1) Commission: Whereas galleries typically charge a 40-50 percent commission, Doyle only takes 10 percent on art selling for more than $5,000 and slightly higher rates for lower priced works (20 percent on items selling between $1,001-$2,000 and 30 percent on items selling for $1,000 and under). Additionally, there’s a nominal photo fee — a full color catalog is produced for each auction — and an insurance option that amounts to 1.75% of the median estimate, but you can opt out of that.

2) Pricing: Street art seems to sell better in an auction setting. There’s something to be said about the impulse and excitement of the bidding process itself, but it probably has to do with the crowd of collectors, many of whom are interested in street art, but aren’t familiar with other credible venues to buy it at. I present Exhibit A: graffitied subway posters.

3) Credibility: Sure you can offload that Kaws on eBay, but can the buyer really be trusted? Plus, shipping art and negotiating possible damages can be a pain in the ass, so the advantages of selling work in a controlled setting is pretty obvious.

So, if you’re looking to liquidate some of your street art stash and aren’t the type that suffers from buyer’s remorse, contact “Street Art Specialist” Angelo Madrigale. He’ll let you know if the work is sellable and most importantly, how much you can expect to make for flipping it.

(Image: Doyle New York)