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Street art is often seen as an expression of rebellion against the establishment. So why has street art become so popular at the upper end of the art market? Why did a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sell for over $110.5 million at Sotheby’s? Why is Banksy worth upwards of $50 million? This class will examine how street art has become high art, and how some of its practitioners have used their celebrity to bring attention to social and political issues. Lectures will consider why the art world has embraced the work of street artists such as Basquiat, Banksy, and Keith Haring, and how artists like Mr. Brainwash and David Choe are challenging the traditional art market. Can street artists still control their messaging when their work is sold within the context of the traditional art market? And what happens to a counterculture movement when it becomes mainstream?

What you will learn…

  • To identify important street artists, the visual characteristics of their work, and the social and political causes that they champion.
  • To understand how and why street art has been transformed into high art through the art world’s embrace of this work as a valuable commodity.
  • To consider the implications of this transformation both for the art market and for street artists themselves.
The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    2-week course
    July 22–August 2, 2019
    Monday–Friday; 2:30 PM–5:00 PM
  • Faculty


    Carlo McCormack, Adjunct Faculty, Summer Institute, New York

    Click here to view all of our faculty members. Our instructors are award-winning Sotheby's Institute faculty, recognized thought leaders, and professional experts in the art world.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    • What is Street Art?

    • Who Are the Major Practitioners?

    • How Street Artists Challenge the Traditional Art Market

    • Why Street Artists Have Been Embraced by the Traditional Art Market

    • How Does the Commodification of Street Art Affect Its Social and Political Message?

    • What Implications Does the Commodification of Street Art Pose For Its Future?

    These topics are subject to change.
  • Further Program Details

    Further Program Details

    Summer - New York is part of Sotheby's Institute's continuing education programming and offers short, non-credit courses. We encourage you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to find answers to some of the questions you may have about summer courses in New York, including international concerns and basic course advisement.

    Our Accommodations page provides essential information and external resources for students researching their options.
  • Course Fees & Enrollment

    Course Fees & Enrollment


    Add a second Summer New York course at a reduced rate:

    • Additional 4-week course +$3350 ($5700 Total)

    • Additional 2-week course +$1950 ($4300 Total)

    • Additional 1-week course +$1350 ($3700 Total)

    Tuition includes classroom and program lectures, site visits, and additional programming.
    Tuition does not include accommodation or travel.

    Enroll now
    Terms and Conditions
  • Contact Information

    Contact Information

    For further information or course advisement, please contact:
    Hayley Black, Admissions Advisor
    Tel: 212-897-6644 Or Request Information

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