10 Rising Street Artists Who Are Taking the Art Form Beyond Banksy
As the market for urban art heats up, here are talents to keep an eye on.
Love it or hate it, street art is wildly popular—and it’s not hard to understand why. While much of contemporary art is hidden away inside a white cube or tent, street art is accessible, both literally and figuratively. It’s currently the most photographed form of art on Instagram.
To be sure, street art may have lost some of its outlaw cool in this transition. Bansky’s work has even been used as a marketing tool by developers and city officials.
But it’s also become impossible to dismiss the genre. And while Banksy’s works can sell for well over $1 million at auction, work by many talented artists in the community remains extremely affordable, even for novice collectors. Below, we’ve assembled a list of 10 rising street artists to watch.
1. Sara Erenthal
Based in: Brooklyn, New York
Recent project:This past March, she had a solo show at FiveMyles gallery in Brooklyn
Known for: Her signature red-lipped self portraits
If you spend a lot of time in Brooklyn, chances are you’ve seen Sara Erenthal’s creative invasions of urban space. She daubs her distinctive self portraits—all bold lines and bold lips—over surfaces ranging from cardboard boxes and trash cans to abandoned furniture and curb mattresses. She has carried this theme into her studio practice too, often using found objects in her work.
2. Ben Slow
Based in: London, England
Recent project: Olive Branch mural (pictured) commissioned by the Moniker International Art Fair
Best known for: Murals featuring black-and-white portraits
While many artists start out working in the streets and only later transition into the gallery space, Slow took the opposite trajectory. He has a fine art background and began creating street art after he became disillusioned with the art world. His work is inspired by the local residents of wherever he is working. In both his street art and canvas works, his stylized portraits often dip into abstraction. Slow’s Jo (2010) sold for £900 ($1,382) at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in London in 2010, beating its estimate by about $270.
Best known for: Bright collages featuring female subjects
Following Banksy’s lead, Deedee has—so far—remained anonymous. The artist produces collages that combine her own painting with poster advertisements found on the streets. The work transforms mundane advertisements into bizarre but glamorous mash-ups. Deedee does indoor as well as outdoor work and her silk screen prints can be bought online for under $200. But good luck nabbing one—they’re usually sold out.
Schoettle’s alter ego “phoebenewyork” is a round-faced woman with a black bob. She has popped up in cities including New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Sydney, and Barcelona in the form of prints wheatpasted to telephone polls and walls. Her original collages—which together recount a story, of Phoebe falling in love, wandering around town, and experiencing heartbreak—are created with found objects, including magazine pages, old books, record sleeves, and vintage photographs. Prints on her site sell for between $100–250. She has an Instagram following of more than 20,000.
5. Dirt Cobain
Based in: Los Angeles, California
Recent project: Mural at Wynwood Walls in Miami (pictured)
Best known for: Playfully defiant murals featuring drug paraphernalia
Based in West Hollywood, Dirt Cobain has created massive paintings of 40-ounce pill bottles that are visible from the blue line LA metro stop in Compton and the 7 train platform in Sunnyside, Queens. But the bright murals aren’t about promoting drug use. Dirt Cobain began using bottles and other drug references in his work when he himself was detoxing.
Best known for: Colorful murals that reference pop culture
Sr. Lasso is an up-and-comer whose work engages with pop culture, architecture, and the urban scene in New York. He does indoor work as well as street art like that pictured above, at the Underhill Walls in Brooklyn.
Based in: New York City
Recent project: Photographing the latest Wynwood Walls installations in Miami
Best known for: His #SidewalksAndIcons series
Born in Miami, this NYC street artist does more than just paint. His exuberant art employs images of pop cultural figures ranging from Will Smith to Donald Trump. And his website notes that he has attracted the eyeballs of real-life celebrities including Paris Hilton and Abbi Jacobson, who have been photographed next to his work. Sacsix also works as a curator and organized a presentation of street art for the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.
8. CB Hoyo
Based in: Europe
Recent project: Participated in the R.APE Exhibition at FerArts to mark the International Day of Tolerance
Best known for: His tongue-in-cheek “Fake it till you make it” series
Born in 1995 (yes, that means he’s 22), Hoyo is a self-taught artist from Havana, Cuba. Hoyos’s style is directly influenced by street art, although unlike the other artists on this list, he doesn’t identify as specifically as a street artist (although his wit would certainly be a welcome addition to the street art landscape.) His “Fake it till you make it” series is the perfect send up of the art world, without being too pretentious. One painting of Marilyn Monroe, for example, is accompanied by the text, “This Warhol is just like the original…Don’t know why people laugh at it.
He’s represented by Imitate Modern gallery, which currently sells his prints for between $400 and $4,000.
Eelus is a self-taught artist inspired by Banksy. He has most recently been combining stencil with striking colorful lines, and he helped launch a community art project in the Gambia called Wide Open Walls. But he’s gaining traction on the art market, too. In 2008, his mural The Good, The Bad & The Moon was turned into a print that sold for $7,956 at Dreweatts later that year. On Tuesday, his Butterflies & Watching Eyes (2010) will go on sale at Forum Auctions in London with an estimate of $2,015–2,687.
Best known for: Portraits with colorful abstract details
Londoners who are familiar with Shoreditch might recognize Ant Carver’s striking portraits. He fuses street art elements with more traditional techniques in his oil and spray-paint works, often mixing hand-painted details with vibrant abstract elements. He also sells his own print editions online for around $160, and has an Instagram following of some 11,000.