Retna: $5 million +
While there’s no official industry estimate for the accumulative wealth of Marquis Lewis –aka Retna – his portfolio indicates his net worth is in the low millions at very least. His original art pieces auction at about $10,000 – $20,000 on average.
Mr. Brainwash: $10 million
The Frenchman Thierry Guetta aka Mr. Brainwash began his professional career as a photographer and filmographer. This career choice lead him into the venture with the British street artist Banksy. This venture produced the best-known street art documentary Exit Through The Giftshop.. Banksy convinced Thierry Guetta to become a street artist himself and Mr. Brainwash was born. Mr. Brainwash puts on a show he names Life is Beautiful and virtually becomes an overnight millionaire. The profits of the exhibition are reported to have been €1 million. Adding that to the other sell out shows and the huge commercial success of Exit Through The Giftshop, the wealth of Mr. Brainwash sums up to roughly estimated $10 million
Shepard Fairey: $15 million
The Obey Giant Shepard Fairey is an artist with great entrepreneurial skills. Starting off with Andre the Giant Has a Posse posters, the American artist has built an empire from the ground. His progressive street style earned him the design for the 2008 Obama election campaign. From there, there was no stopping the giant. Shepard Fairey collaborated with Urban Outfitters to produce and sell his own fashion line at their stores. Just think about how many Obey caps or tees you’ve seen. While keeping this in mind also think about the starting prices for his originals (20K).
Banksy: $20 million
Most people would expect the world famous, yet infamous Banksy to be the wealthiest street artist. No, he is not, someone else is, but we’ll get to that. The prices for his artwork have skyrocketed, with the most expensive painting achieving over $2 million at an auction. The original artworks lie anywhere between $20.000 – $250.000 at galleries. This amounts to a net worth of $20 million.
David Choe – £200 million
Who? Well In 2005, David Choe was approached by the media startup Facebook. Facebook had just moved up the office space ladder and commissioned Choe to paint a large mural at their new headquarters (Pic above). For his time and effort they wanted to pay him $60.000. Choe, however opted that he’d rather have 3.7 million in shares of the company instead. When Facebook enlisted at the stock exchange the shares were valued at $56 each. And so David Choe became the richest street artist in the world.