Political art almost always increases in value. 21st century examples include Shepard Fairey’s prints that feature political icons Lenin, Nixon, and Mao. These prints have increased in value at a higher multiple than other prints released during the same year.
Lenin – Shepard Fairey – 1997
More recently, art played an important role in President Obama’s 2008 campaign. While anyone who leaves the house once a year would recognize Mr. Fairey’s “Hope” featuring President Obama’s thoughtful image, it really wasn’t the most interesting print to appear during the campaign.
Hope – Sam Flores – 2008
Sam Flores remained true to his style when designing his Obama print and Ron English’s “Abraham Obama” had to help win over some Republican voters. But David Choe’s take on “Hope” was the best piece created. And the price that it is currently selling for on eBay supports our opinion.
Hope -David Choe – 2008
But the coolest piece was created by Indigo California’s The Date Farmers.
Cambio – The Date Farmers – 2008
An edition of 200, The Date Farmers “Obama” print was the first piece aimed directly at the Latino community. Featuring a message of “change”, The Date Farmers stayed away from the “thoughtful” Obama image and instead portrayed the presidential candidate in a much grittier manner. The commonplace, serene image of our future president was replaced by one with a man who appeared ready to run the country with an iron fist.
O Lord My Mistakes – The Date Farmers – 2011
Like the rest of the images released by Upper Playground, The Date Farmers print originally sold for $200. But since then The Date Farmers have moved from FIFTY24SF Gallery, to a show at New York’s Jonathan Levine Gallery and are now calling the prestigious Ace Gallery in Los Angeles their home. Their works have escalated in price and should continue to do so as they produce bigger and bolder pieces.
In the past we’ve seen this print sell for between $400 – 500 so $695 seems fairly aggressive. But if you can get the seller to accept a price in the previously mentioned range, then you will be acquiring a good investment that will increase in value due to its historical context and cultural relevance. And the print will look great on your wall.
Descent To Heaven – The Date Farmers – 2010
Just when you think you can categorize Valencia, Spain’s greatest street artist, Escif keeps his viewers thinking by delivering a piece that shows a different style but continues to challenge viewers.
His latest painting, “la propriete c’ est le vol” delivers a poignant image that Escif’s fans will appreciate. But this work reveals that he has the potential to be a fine artist.
While the piece may not have the same level of detail as one of Shepard Fairey’s works, Escif is becoming more complex as evidenced by the close-up he provided on his Flickr page.
Now we fully admit we’re fans of Escif. Works from his P.O.W. show in 2010 and his show this past summer with San at FIFTY24SF are adorning our collection and are not going to leave any time soon. And while we love the hooded figures, the oblong heads, and the simple transformations displayed on wall in Europe, this new piece might be a signal that he is getting a little more serious about his work.
And a serious Escif would definitely be snapped up by collectors, including us. Don’t sleep on his next show.