Rare original artwork by Mr Doodle - up for sale in December Auction!

04/11/22

Called Doughnut Dance, the cheerful confusion of figures, shapes - and a signature doughnut - is now instantly recognisable as the work of the young Kent artist Mr Doodle, AKA Sam Cox, 28.

His work had been gathering fame since 2018 then exploded in early 2020, with one of his huge 4-metre artworks selling for just under a million US dollars at a Tokyo auction. In 2021 his auction sales totalled just under $5 million and Artnet ranked him the year’s biggest auction success under 40.

The acrylic pen on box canvas coming up at the Canterbury Auction Galleries measures 48ins by 36ins, and is signed ‘Mr Doodle 2019’. This estimate for this early work is £20,000 to £25,000.

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It is being sold by an anonymous vendor to raise funds for the same Kent organisation – Bauhaus Cafe - that helped launch Mr Doodle in his early days.

Doughnut Dance was created live in public in 2019 at an exhibition of young local artists at The Auction House space in Ashford, Kent. However Covid intervened and the planned follow-up art sale failed to reach the funds needed. Now the rare work has come back on the market, supported by Mr Doodle himself.

 “When I was younger I sometimes doodled in the spaces that the Bauhaus Cafe looked after for young artists. It was a helpful thing for me to have a space to practice some of my larger scale work. I created my doodle live so that people could see the process of my piece from start to finish.

“I hope that this doodle can help create some funds for the young artists in Ashford to have opportunities in the future,” he said.

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Mr Doodle has become well known in recent months for achieving one of his main aims – to doodle his entire house. The 12-room mansion in Tenterden that he shares with his artist wife Alena is completely covered inside and out in his rambling hand-drawn “graffiti spaghetti”, as he calls it. It took two years and some 300 bottles of paint.

He is internationally famous too, collaborating with brands such as Tesla, Puma, Samsung, MTV and Fendi to adorn their wares with his scribbles. Imagine Keith Haring partying with Where’s Wally, Crash Bandicoot and some Mr. Men.

The cartoony style reflects his charming character. “Doodling doesn’t have so many rules or standards that drain the process. It’s more about just drawing for fun, which is always really important to me. When I try to draw the things that bring me the most joy at that time, I’ve noticed those are the things that have always gotten the best reactions out of people and just feels the most natural,” he has said.

One of the charity’s organisers remembers the young Sam Cox clearly. “He turned up just after he’d finished university [UWE Bristol] with some of his works and wearing a white jumpsuit covered in doodles. He wanted to know how to promote himself. I just looked at him and said ‘you don’t need my help with anything!’.

“He was a natural. Completely focused, really hard-working and the most adorable human being: humble and sweet. We gave him a space to work in and a few contacts for commissions – so maybe we gave him a nudge - but really, he did it all himself. It’s great that he’s flown.”

The long-term aim of Bauhaus, a Community Interest Company, is to create spaces for young people to network, sell and be seen. “Young artists are often not taken seriously at the start of their careers, but more often than not they have great potential,” said a spokesperson. 

“Ashford no longer has an art gallery to represent this talent so we are working towards creating one.  At the very least, we want to be able to have travelling pop-up exhibitions and public art to engage and involve local residents.”

Sam Cox invented a whole world surrounding his alter-ego, Mr Doodle, who was born with OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Drawing – and left earth to live in the Paper Galaxy, a completely white area of space. But his evil twin brother, Dr Scribble, jealous of his talents, finds him and kicks him back to Earth, wiping out all his art in the process with an Anti-Doodle Squad Eraser Laser. Now poor Mr Doodle has to spend his time drawing in the hope he will be able to fund a spaceship and find a way back to the Paper Galaxy.

While here is here, however, his next aim is to doodle a whole town - and then the entire planet - don’t bet against him.

The work will come up as part of a two-day auction on Dec 3-4 at the Canterbury Auction Galleries. Catalogues can seen online two weeks prior to the sale at www.thegalleries.live, the saleroom’s own free to use in-house bidding platform and at www.thecanterburyauctiongalleries.com.

For further information, please contact the saleroom on 01277 763337 or by email at general@tcag.co.uk.

Head to Instagram to find out more about @mrdoodle and his evil twin @dr_scribble

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