Red Eight Gallery on why the art world needs to support rising stars as we look towards a post-Covid-19 world
The London Gallery's creative director Matthew Admans talks about supporting the next generation of Banksys
Despite a tumultuous year for the art world, over the past 12 months Red Eight Gallery has cemented its position as London’s fastest-growing gallery and is about to open a stunning new space in the City’s coveted Royal Exchange. Spearheading this transformation is creative director Matthew Admans, who discovered his vocation in the art world after an injury forced his early retirement from professional football.
Why is it so important to support emerging artists right now?
Since the start of the global pandemic we’ve seen unprecedented changes to the art world, with art fairs cancelled and galleries closed all over the globe. Artists, collectors and galleries have risen to the challenge of adapting to this new normal, but there is no doubt that the storm isn’t over yet. Here at Red Eight we specialise in discovering emerging talent and connecting these exceptional artists with passionate collectors. This is a rare opportunity to develop a personal connection with a rising star from the early stages of their career and watch them fulfill their potential. You just don’t get that kind of access when investing in Damien Hirst or other blue-chip artists.
There’s also significant financial opportunity when it comes to investing in emerging artists, since their work will grow in value significantly as their career develops. This is what makes art such an exciting investment; you actually get to know the artist and own a unique piece of work that’s yours to display or keep in storage as you wish. During 2020 we’ve seen a real flourishing of emerging art, with many artists able to spend more time concentrating on their career and producing excellent work. With the dramatic turbulence we’ve seen on the stock market over the past year, and ongoing economic uncertainty expected as we head into 2021, now is a great time to diversify your portfolio by investing in the Banksys of tomorrow. >>
Any insider tips on hot artists to invest in right now?
We’ve just signed a very talented young Parisian artist called Youssef Boubekeur, who works exclusively using a blue Biro. Youssef’s subjects offer a nod to the humour and quirkiness of street art, regularly featuring animal heads imposed on to suit-wearing human bodies. Since he works with indelible ballpoint pen, there is no room for error. Any mistake must be incorporated into the artwork, which gives his work a real tension between spontaneity and precision.
We also work very closely with Panik, a Camden-born graffiti artist who made a name for himself in the noughties as co-founder of the ATG Crew. After several run-ins with the police, in recent years Panik has traded walls for canvases. Transferring their work from vast spaces on the street to the strict confines of canvas is something most street artists struggle to do. Panik is one of the few who has been able to make that leap while preserving the energy and grit of his graffiti roots.
What’s the best way to start an art collection?
My number one recommendation is to invest in art that you really like. The best way to do this is to find a good gallery to guide you, and to spend some time finding out about the artists you’re interested in. Having said that, you don’t need to restrict yourself to art that you’d like to hang on your wall, since these days it’s very easy to keep art in storage. At Red Eight, we also offer clients the unique opportunity to participate in corporate leasing and earn a regular, fixed income on their artworks. This works a little bit like property rentals with the art leased out to companies, restaurants, or hotels in return for a fixed fee. This can be a great way to build an art collection which actually generates an income for you and doesn’t require storage or hanging space.