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Artist Spotlight: KAWS

New York Loan Company, based in Manhattan, makes collateral loans against modern and contemporary artwork.  This upscale pawnshop both purchases and lends against artists like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and Jean-Michael Basquiat. New York Loan also works with up-and-coming artists that may not yet be household names, but have established themselves as successful and talented people in the art community. This list includes Takashi Murakami, Shepard Fairey, Jeff Koons, Os Gemeos and of course, KAWS.

KAWS, born Brian Donnelly, is a New York based artist that is known for his graffiti, paintings, sculptures, and graphic design. New York Loan Company, a luxury collateral lender, closely follows this artist due to his strong secondary market and his unique collaborations with celebrities and companies like VANS, Nike, Hennessy, and Kiehl’s.

The artist grew up in Jersey City where he got his start with graffiti, he then experimented with his street-art in New York City, where the New York Loan offices are located. KAWS started his own form of street-art that involved removing the panels that covered advertisements and added his own graphics and art on those advertisements. Many times viewers were not able to differentiate the original ad from the transformed ad due to KAWS skill with a paintbrush.  

In the 90’s the young artist started developing his own style. He graduated from New York’s School of Visual Arts and traveled to Japan where he practiced his street art style and created his first toy – a vinyl figure of Mickey Mouse with his eyes crossed-out. In 1998 he won the Pernod Liquid Art Award that presents a grant to upcoming artists. This was only the beginning for KAWS who had embraced the commercialist trend following Warhol, Rauschenberg, & Jasper Johns.

KAWS has only become more popular with his collaborations with Pharrell Williams, MTV and DC Shoes. The artist also created a special edition album cover for Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak. In the past few years the large and influential auction houses like Sotheby’s, Christie’s & Phillips have had large successes selling KAWS’ artwork for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To inquire about a fine art loan with New York Loan Company, which also makes pawn loans on jewelry, diamonds, watches, and one-of-a-kind memorabilia, please contact their offices at 212-997-5626 or email art@newyorkloan.com.

Artist Spotlight: Jean-Michel Basquiat

Basquiat – a name forever associated with art, graffiti, and New York City. New York Loan Company makes collateral based loans on high-end contemporary and modern art, and Jean-Michel Basquiat is perhaps the most well-known American neoexpressionist artist that the luxury pawn shop has loaned against.
“I get really excited when we have a Basquiat print, drawing or even painting come into our office,” said Jordan Tabach-Bank, owner of New York Loan Company.  “I am personally an enormous fan of his work and we can loan aggressively since I believe his market has yet to peak.  No other pawn shop that I know of has the expertise to loan against such collateral.”
Born in Brooklyn in 1960, he started his art career at an early age by creating graffiti under the name SAMO in Manhattan. These became so popular that he started selling sweatshirts and postcards with his art prominently displayed. At this time he was also performing with his band all over the country and appearing on TV.
In the early 1980s he started receiving critical acclaim after showing his art in group shows and in 1981 Renè Ricard, art critic and commentator, published “The Radiant Child” on Artform magazine, which quickly grabbed the attention of the art world. Soon after Basquiat began showing his art all around the world and started selling his unique pieces for upwards of five figures.
The fast and immense popularity of Basquiat was due to his unique style influenced by street-life, multiculturalism, punk, and hip-hop. His more traditional inspirations came from Grey’s Anatomy, Leonardo de Vinci and Henry Dreyfuss’ Symbol Sourcebook. Basquiat had an extensive list of friends and collaborators that include Any Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Bowie, Keith Haring, and Glenn O’Brian. He was most prolific with Andy Warhol between 1984 and 1985 – this was the main period of collaborations between the two friends.
Basquiat tragically died at the young age of 27 in 1988 in New York City. Since then, his popularity has only increased and his art now commands staggering prices at auctions, whether Phillips or Sotheby’s. In 1998 his highest price for a piece was 3.3 million dollars from Christies Auction House – in 2013 his piece Dunderheads sold for a staggering 48.8 million, again at Christies Auction House.
When looking to sell or pawn one-of-a-kind artwork, please contact New York Loan at art@newyorkloan.com or by calling 212-997-5626.  New York Loan Company also specializes in large confidential collateral loans against gold jewelry, diamonds, watches and one of a kind memorabilia.