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Paul Insect (British)


Also known as:  PINS

Birth Place: Hastings, UK


Who is painter Paul Insect?

Paul Insect is a contemporary graffiti and urban artist whose landmark 2007 solo show, Bullion catapulted him to fame in the London art world. This led to a famed art collector, Damien Hirst, becoming an ardent fan and supporter of Paul Insect’s work -- buying the entire show before it even opened. Paul Insect uses a nom-de-plume, he often credits his art to PINS. More recently, Paul Insect has worked with Banksy on his famous Santa’s Ghetto project as well as the separation wall in Palestine. Paul Insect’s early work was spent founding his art collective, Insect, which ran from 1996 - 2005. He is the author of two art books and created the artwork for the famous San Francisco musical artist, DJ shadow (for his album The Outsider (2006)). 

What kind of art does Paul Insect make?

Paul Insect makes Dada-influenced modern art that feels equally at home in a gallery or as street art. His work is often playful and darkly funny and he often uses deep swaths of color, spray paint, and stencil. He often recontextualizes pop culture iconography to create postmodernist social commentary -- like Donald Duck with a machine gun or his “Pixel-man”, an 8-bit inspired creation that seems to be melting while he clings to his keyboard. Above all else, Paul Insect makes colorful, fun art. To put it in the box of other social commentary is a disservice, there’s obvious joy in a Paul Insect piece -- something that sets him apart from many of his contemporaries and gives his art longevity that few will enjoy.

How did painter Paul Insect get started?

Paul Insect was born in Southeastern England in 1971, somewhere close to Hastings. Not much is known of his early years, but he studied graphic design at Hastings and Salisbury Art Colleges. Sometime in the 1990s, Paul Insect founded the art collective, Insect, which produced art from 1996 up until about 2005 when it was disbanded. Around that time, Insect began producing art as PINS. His 2007 show, Bullion was an instant success, thanks in large part to Damien Hirst buying the entire show before it opened. This sent a shockwave through the art community and helped vaunt Paul Insect into rarefied air with some of the biggest urban artists in the world today.

How much are Paul Insect paintings worth?

Paul Insect paintings can be worth a few hundred dollars, up to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the piece. The most ever paid for a Paul Insect piece was $50,130 for the painting Unicorn (2007) which sold on 12/12/2007. The most ever paid for one of his paintings for Heritage Auctions is $5,250 for the piece LA which sold on July 22nd, 2019. Both of these sales show that Heritage Auctions has been an early and ardent supporter of Insect’s work, whether it be acrylic on paper or screen printed collage.

Where to buy Paul Insect paintings for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Paul Insect paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.

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