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Street Art Auction: Mondo Finds

Several works by the iconic street artist Banksy will be up for bid.

Of all the tomes and essays and think pieces and humor takes and profiles written about street art, one truism remains the through-line, regardless of what or where it is: It's accessible to all, for a time.

The "for a time" bit can mean a day or forever, but if it is Banksy, the chances of some plywood going up over the artwork, or some protective plastic, weighs closer to the "day" side of things than the "forever" part of the equation.

The unidentified -- or not-so-unidentified -- artist is astonishingly collectible, and his/her/their pieces are sought after with a fervor that's beyond intense. That intensity also extends to other celebrated street artists like Shepard Fairey and Gregory Siff, creators who regularly put imagery and ideas before the public, the whole public, at large.

Some of that public will bid on works that had their debut not in a gallery, but on the street, thanks to the painting-packed Extraordinary Street and Contemporary Art Auction, the biannual presentation from Julien's Auctions.

Among the pieces headed for the block are Banksy's "Happy Choppers," an aerosol stencil first seen in London's Whitecross Street Market, as well as a "stenciled car door installation in New York's Lower East Side" that dates to the month in 2013 that the artist spent in New York.

"Happy Choppers" is estimated to draw a bid of $100,000 to $150,000, says the auction house.

Shepard Fairey Fans will find over 30 works to bid on, too, including mixed media pieces and silkscreens.

The auction's date? The final day of April 2016. The public exhibition? You'll want to head for Julien's Auctions Los Angeles Gallery, on La Cienega Boulevard, to see the works. Be there from April 22 through 29.

If you do bid on a piece, and you ultimately claim it, consider how the back story for the work typically involves an avenue, or intersection, or business that's not a museum or a gallery (but rather had a wall where the work once appeared).

From the get-go a street artwork starts the story differently, though how long it lingers curbside, for passersby to admire, or not, is very much a "mileage will vary" exercise, nowadays.

To pore over the full catalog, click. 

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