Stik Fought Hard with Gallery Owner for Shipping Containers Return
We’re happy to report the return of a community mural produced by street artist Stik and local youths in Poland. The once homeless artist has much empathy for local communities and charities which he helps raise large donations byway of his artwork. Very few street artists other than Banksy can draw huge sales from murals produced for free in the streets. Stik’s murals have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local communities, charities and groups. The most recent sale happened within the last month when his Big Mother mural raised £193,750 for locals.
Stik is very particular about his artwork, spending countless hours imagining the delicate positioning of head, arms and eyes, which tell the true story of each piece. He doesn’t believe in accessorising his work, proving the power remains in the posture and glare of his figures.
In 2011 Stik was invited to participate in the Brit-Cult Festival at Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk, Poland. Where the artist was presented with a collection of shipping containers with a canvas size of 45 metres. He painted a series of his unique hand painted figures including a section he collaborated with local teenagers. They painted brightly coloured clothes, hats and hair onto Stik’s figures, thus creating an atmosphere of fun and lasting memories for the youths painting alongside him. They’d dubbed the piece ‘It’s Complicated’ a title that doesn’t begin to describe what happened next.
Four years later various sections of the shipping containers appeared in a London gallery specialising in street art. The containers vanished from the original site in Poland and split into several sections cut in 29 places. The pieces were being sold for large amounts of cash which upset both artist and local Polish community that gave up their time and effort to produce the work.
Stik actually knew the gallery owner whom he immediately contacted to declare the containers had been stolen and he wouldn’t authenticate any public works sold in the private sector. The gallery owner fought back providing documentation showing the containers were legally purchased from the actual owner of the shipping containers. The very same person that allowed the Laznia Centre to paint the containers in the first place.
The gallery owner remained stedfast in the sale of Stik’s work, regardless of the artist’s protests and open letters from the teenagers in Poland. A few pieces had already been sold and he felt the the artwork was legally acquired so discounted objections raised from the artist’s camp. It’s taken three years for both parties to reach an agreement that not only promises to return the containers but Stik himself will return to Poland and complete the mural in 2019.