Renowned Hackney-based street artist STIK has garnered recognition and popularity among activists and art enthusiasts alike, thanks to his internationally acclaimed evolved stick figure motif. Over the past five years, the average value of STIK's artwork has witnessed significant growth, experiencing a 44% increase. In the last 12 months, the average price for his works has consistently exceeded £12,000. While Stik's sculptures and murals remain highly sought after in auctions, his prints market has gained momentum in 2023, likely due to his ongoing activism and community support.
Explore below to discover the top ten highest-valued STIK artworks to grace the auction scene.
In September 2020, Stik's bronze sculpture Holding Hands was revealed in Hoxton Square, part of London's Hackney Borough. The artist generously donated his working model, Holding Hands (Maquette) (2020), to support the council's public sculpture program. Surpassing expectations, the maquette sold for £287,500 at Christie's Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale in London in October 2020, more than doubling its high estimate and becoming the artists's auction record. Stik's strong connection with Hackney, where he has lived, created street art, and collaborated with local authorities, has led to over £250,000 in charitable contributions to the borough. His deep attachment to Hackney is evident in his artistic and community involvement over nearly two decades.
Continuing his social initiatives, STIK's Children of Fire (2011) reflects the artist's engagement with the socio-political landscape. This piece features his signature stylised characters sprayed onto the garage door of Pogo Café, a vegan café and anarchist information centre. It was created in response to the 2011 London Riots, which Stik documented and participated in. Two years later, Pogo Café sold the artwork to raise funds for social causes combatting racial and class discrimination, in accordance with Stik's guidelines for the sale of his street artworks. In a rare auction appearance on June 30, 2022, Children of Fire achieved an impressive £246,000, becoming the second most expensive Stik artwork ever sold.
Stik's artistic approach is summed up in his statement, “Six lines and two dots was the quickest way to draw a human figure without getting caught.’’ His art draws from his personal experiences with homelessness, and creating street art served as a means of preserving and sharing his work, instilling hope in the community. Liberty, a simplified rendition of the Statue of Liberty, originated as street art in New York City in 2013. It was also produced as a limited-edition series of screenprints in five colours in the same year. At a Christie's London in September 2019, a deluxe set of Liberty prints achieved an auction record, selling for £200,000.
In 2014, Stik created a 125-foot mural titled Big Mother on a West London council estate, using it as a protest against the estate's demolition and to highlight social housing issues. Although the estate was eventually demolished in 2018, a smaller version of the mural, also located on the estate, was preserved and later sold at Phillips in 2018 for £193,750. The proceeds from the sale were directed to support ARTification, a community art program. Stik, known for his activism, emphasised the significant sale and the mural's message about the importance of social housing expressing gratitude to the ARTification team for their collaboration.
True to his signature style, the East-London artist Seemingly simple stick-figure art continues to evoke genuine emotional reactions. His 2009 piece, Untitled, is no different, portraying visible frustration within the figure, potentially reflects his own frustration with the current social landscape. This work sold for £170,000 at Christie's London in March 2022.
One of the first large-scale canvases that Stik made, Standing Embrace was purchased from the street artist in 2009 and kept in the same private collection until 2020, when it was offered at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale in London in February 2020. The work soared past its £70,000 high estimate to achieve £156,250, over twice the expected amount.
“My work has a broad appeal because it’s very friendly,” Stik once explained. His stick people are “shorthand for emotions. They reflect how I feel."
Created in 2009 and originally part of Stik's inaugural solo exhibition, Up On The Roof is now one of only three surviving pieces from the original set of 16. In September 2017, a companion work titled Bound set an auction record for the street artist, selling at Christie's London for £35,000. Just a year later, in September 2018, Up On The Roof sold for £150,000, marking a remarkable over 300% increase in value within o year. The sale proceeds benefited Cardboard Citizens, an East London theatre charity aiding those facing or at risk of homelessness.
Stik's internationally recognised iconic figure, the 'Stik' figure, has achieved global acclaim. In 2011, his Untitled painting depicted a heartwarming family embrace, with two figures cradling a smaller one against a vibrant yellow backdrop. Stik's yellow-themed works have consistently demonstrated popularity and desirability, prominently featuring in his top-selling pieces. This untitled painting was sold for £138,600 at Christie's in 2023.
In this artwork, three of Stik's characteristic white figures appear somewhat perplexed as they observe their surroundings against a blue backdrop. Despite their seemingly straightforward design, the artist noted that his stick figures can effectively convey emotions, with subtle details like the bend of a knee or the shrug of a shoulder. This ability to evoke emotions is evident in the appeal of Stik's art, characterised by its approachable and unpretentious nature. This Untitled work fetched £131,250 at Christie's London in June 2021, underscoring the emotional resonance it holds with viewers.
Stik has expressed that his figures represent marginalised communities and convey a sense of dispossession. This sentiment is evident in his use of a disused steel barrel as the base for his artwork Untitled from 2009. Despite the limited number of prints, Stik's art inherently belongs to the streets and urban environment from which it originates, aiming to preserve and safeguard these spaces. Sold for £125,000 at Christie's London in October, Untitled (2009) showcases Stik's adeptness in utilising public spaces and resources to enhance the relevance and impact of his works.
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