Are Graphics and Illustration the next boom industry?

First furniture designers and architects made a stir within the artworld. Now it seems that graphic designers and illustrators are making an impression, too.

There’s been a lot of talk about how 3D and product design has been crossing the divide and being taken seriously by the art world (see my colleague Reena Jana’s piece on Marc Newson as well as a piece we ran on the British outfit, Established & Sons, whose Zaha Hadid-designed table fetched a record price at auction.) Is now the time for graphic designers and illustrators? British graffiti maverick Banksy’s been causing a stir stateside, while last week, an exhibition by New York group, Faile, apparently sold out before it even opened, taking in over a million dollars in a matter of hours. The incomparable Stanley Donwood, best known for his cover artwork for Radiohead, has a solo show opening in London this week and is now commanding impressive prices for his work, while Shepard Fairey, he of the Obey Giant fake marketing phenom, also has a show in New York coming up.

All of the above are from the street art end of the spectrum, spirited independents who remain in an uneasy embrace with corporate masters. But it’s a sign of the times that the famously fastidious artworld is opening its doors and wallets for commercial artists.

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