Unidentified street artist Alec Monopoly remains under this alias in reference to Rich “Uncle” Pennybags, also known as Mr. Monopoly, throughout his creative career. To Alec, the Monopoly game reference goes beyond the paper dollars and plastic homes; it represents a journey similar to that of actually making it in the real world. Alec observed that often times one’s route to success mirrors that of winning a board game. Beyond the monetary meaning, he hopes to send viewers the message that “we are all a part of game that anyone of us can win. Sometimes the things that causes us hardship, could be very well, the thing that gets us out of that hardship.”
Alec’s well intended meaning of art translates into how he conducts himself as a graffiti artist. Alec intentionally seeks out warehouses and abandoned buildings. He says, “I would never hit a coffee shop… the owners are trying to make it just like I am.”
Recently, in collaboration with Guy Hepner Gallery, Alec Monopoly donated his work, Stanley Market, to Onesky, which was auctioned of for HK$380,000. The proceeds help the foundation achieve their goal of helping every kid achieve their dreams. In 2016, OneSky brought life-changing programs to 11,244 children living in orphanages and 5,257 children living in rural villages in China. OneSky also trains caregivers to provide transformative care to vulnerable children.
Alec treats his real life as a game of monopoly as well. He has been featured in magazines including Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, The NY Post, and Rolling Stone. His art has been all over cities including London, New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, where his interpretation of icons such as Twiggy, Bob Dylan, and Michael Jackson can be seen. He has also collaborated with electronic artist Aviici, and is a brand ambassador for Tag Heuer.
Alec’s success does not stop him from continuing with where he first began- street art. He shares, “If I could just paint on walls all day long, that would be all I do, but I’m not selfish with my work. It’s important to do canvas work because one day the walls can be painted over or taken down, but the canvas will live on forever. Painting on walls is more fun for me because it’s exposed to everybody, not just art collectors or enthusiasts. But my artwork is based around my graffiti, so I’ll make a graffiti piece, then a canvas.”