What's In A Name: The Moniker Art Fair NYC

What’s in a name? The Moniker Art Fair NYC

Pity your poor street art gallery owner. Travelling the world in search of the outstanding new talent; wearing out his Novesta's as he paces up and down the aisles of endless art fairs; knocking back the overpriced craft beers and befriending dubious, yet outrageously talented artists.  All for you, dear client, so that you, in turn, may access some of the greatest street art on the planet. Selfless, he is, selfless!

This year Ben’s already hit the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea in March (see blog). At the end of July, there’s the Other Art Fair in Bristol, organised by the giant Saatchi Art company, which is very much artist focussed.  In July, Bristol also hosts Upfest, Europe's largest, free, street art & graffiti festival. Frieze London in October is a giant of an art fair, with a whopping 160+ galleries jostling for attention.

But for an urban art gallerist, there is one fair which towers over the others, in its vision, its creativity and its influence.

The Moniker Art Fair

Moniker ARtFair NYC 2018

Courtesy Moniker International Art Fair

Now in its ninth year, the Moniker Art Fair has grown into one of the largest and most respected contemporary art fairs in the world.  Until now, it’s never left London, this weekend, Moniker goes stateside, when the four-day event opens its doors at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, in Brooklyn, New York.

Moniker is highly regarded in the industry.  As you’d expect, it’s exciting, provocative and challenging. But it’s so, so much more.  The team carefully curate the whole show, to a level unseen at any other fair.  Of the hundreds that apply, only around 30 galleries are accepted, each restricted to displaying a handful of pre-approved artists. 

This strict vetting policy means that you’ll never see the same thing twice.  Your eyes will be opened to such an array of incredible work, at every price point, from some of the hottest artists on the scene. There’s no fluff, no filler, it’s the pinnacle of the urban art scene.

Moniker in London

Moniker’s London base is now the iconic Old Truman Brewery, in the heart of the East End, a mecca for street art aficionados, and home turf of our good friend Ben Eine.

Ben Eine Vandalism Canvas

(This Canvas available on our website now,  click image to view!)

Nowadays, a ‘moniker’, more commonly referred to as a ‘tag’, refers to a graffiti signature, but the origins of the word go way, way back to the early 19th century when illiterate hobos travelling the American railroads left their mark on freight trains and wagons, as a form of communication. 

Hence, the theme for last year’s Moniker Art Fair was ‘Transient Tales’, exploring the journey of urban art from its railroad roots through to the vibrant urban art scene that we see today.

Moniker put more effort than anyone into the venue.  Having gone last year, it was clear from seeing the entrance tunnel (yes, tunnel!) before seeing any art on walls this was going to be a visual feast on many levels, paying homage to all facets of street art, graffiti and contemporary art. 

Click on the video below to watch last years official video.

Moniker Art Fair 2017 Official Video

Ben’s hot tips for Moniker NYC

What spectacles and wonders will be waiting when NYC opens its doors are yet to be seen.  The full line-up for a Moniker Art Fair is always a closely guarded secret, eagerly anticipated by the industry.  The twenty exhibiting galleries and fifteen artists installations were publicly announced just six weeks before the event.

Sadly, Ben can’t make it and will have to be content with following this one from across the pond however here are his hot pics to watch out for:

The D-Face mural outside is bound to be a sight to be hold before we even talk about whats inside!  The British street artist, who has achieved world wide acclaim, is forever making my jaw drop with his impressive installations. After seeing the piece pictured below, when in Reykjavik I was hooked, what will he do this time?

D Face

Another British gallery making the hop over the pond is Creative Debuts.  The co founders Calum Hall & Alex Rollings stand will be visually stunning and open your eyes to some amazing new talents.  This year they are curating an ‘All African’ art show, can’t wait! Check out what the boys are up to by clicking on the image below to go to their website.

Creative Debuts London Gallery


Photo Credit: Creative Debuts Website

Vermibus is going solo! in fact this is the Spanish artists first solo show in NYC. The latest mission, in his words, was “Using a dubious inter-rail ticket with a set of 90 keys and a ton of solvents he set out to physically highjack the western world of advertisements in the name of fine art!  The results as you can see below were epically stunning, humorous and thought provoking. What we he bring to NYC?

Vermibus ABSENTIAPhoto Credit: Vermibus Press pack

Looking ahead

We love how Moniker champions the urban and contemporary art movement, totally living the values and bringing an incredible, eclectic exhibition to a wide audience in such a unique way.  They respect the art, the artists and the galleries; it’s not about hopping on a bandwagon trying to impress some soulless investors. 

We’re already looking forward to heading down to the next Moniker London, in October.  There’s no way we’ll be missing out on this exciting experience.  See you there?