Out with the old in with the new - street art becomes the latest craze

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 13th March, 2014

Sandra Powell and Andrew King are no strangers to collecting art. She from a fashion background, he financial, the husband and wife team started collecting works by some of Australia’s leading artists in the early 1990s – all the while building a wholesale importing business supplying clothes to the Australian teenage market.

Sandra sourced iconic modernists such as Sidney Nolan and Joy Hester, while Andrew preferred the likes of Clarice Beckett.

Then about seven years ago, they began to focus on a very different genre – street art.

“We were in London on business and Andrew came across a book by (local street artist) Banksy – and was immediately taken with it, so bought it,” she said.

Both were struck by the humorous and naughty images contained in the book and, on returning to Melbourne, sought out one of the city’s leading street art exponents called Rone.

The meeting was to change both Andrew and Sandra’s lives. They became keen supporters of Everfresh Studios (one of the chief sources of Melbourne’s street art) in Collingwood and began supporting the careers of five Australian street artists by connecting them to appropriate galleries and helping to organise their exhibitions.

In the meantime, they have collected more than 1000 pieces of street art – including some of the world’s biggest names in this area – and are helping to legitimise what they believe is the largest art movement in the world to collectors.

Even their friendship groups changed, as they became close to artists in their 20s and 30s – about the same age as their own children.

Of course, not all Sandra and Andrew’s art could be on display in their grand Melbourne home and most of the modern works were placed in storage where they have remained for the past two years.

Now it is time for a clean out and, although they will miss many of the paintings, Sandra and Andrew have asked Mossgreen to auction their modern art works from 6.30pm on Wednesday March 19 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

Highlights include Sidney Nolan’s evocative Horse 1945 and Horse Rolling on Beach 1945, carrying respective pre-sale estimates of $60,000-$80,000 and $30,000-$50,000.

A collection of five paintings by Joy Hester should attract keen interest as her works so rarely come to auction and Clarice Beckett also is well represented with nine paintings estimated from between $7000 to $35,000.


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