This weekend will see July 4th celebrations across the U.S. of A, so all week we’re exploring the American art market – check out our other posts on the Top 5 American Artists to See and the lowdown on the market as a whole.
Here’s four of our all-time most collectible artists from Stateside who are particularly known for works on paper. They all share a common inheritance that draws on the strong commercial art traditions of billboards, tv commercials and product packaging – subverting it with their own political message.
God Bless America!
Jim Dine (1935-present)
Prolific and multifarious in his output, from the iconic typography pieces of the 60s and 70s, to sculptures and performance pieces. Perhaps most widely known for his ‘Love’ poster, a brilliant piece of printmaking that makes inspired use of geometric form and colour. Screenprints are available from a few thousand pounds, paintings are more like hundreds of thousands.
Keith Haring (1958-1990)
Instantly recognisable and much copied graffiti-style. Haring’s distinctive black-outlined figures have been co-opted onto t-shirts, mugs and advertising. You can seek out signed silkscreen prints for under a £1,000, but many an original painting can sell for a hundred times that; some go for millions.
Basquiat’s bold graffiti-style paintings are going up and up in value. You can buy works on paper from £800, or – if you’re a millionaire – go right up to a record $48 million (for his painting “Dustheads” sold at Christie’s New York in 2013).
Shepard Fairey (1970-present)
The man behind the “Obey” street-art sticker campaign, and 2008 “Hope” poster for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. One of the best known and most influential street artists of our day. And he’s still courting controversy; police in Detroit have currently got an arrest warrant out for him after he tagged buildings across the city with his distinctive graffiti. His fertile output means there’s lots of works to buy; some from a few thousand pounds.