The Telegraph tells the story of the Affordable Art Fairs which grew from a local operation into a multi-national effort with offices in each country where it operates:
More than 500 galleries have displayed their wares at Affordable Art Fairs around the world since Will Ramsay pioneered the idea with a debut show in Battersea Park in 1999. Since then more than £100m of art has been sold worldwide, while in the UK approximately 350,000 people have visited the biannual event buying art valued at more than £60m.
Today, Mr Ramsay’s business, which includes his Putney-based gallery Will’s Art Warehouse, turns over about £5m every year, but as he is the first to admit: “It hasn’t been all plain sailing.”
He adds: “I learned that taking all the British galleries to the foreign fairs doesn’t work.” Taste in art, it seems, can be very place specific. “People from Cornwall will like seascapes while people from Glasgow, for example, prefer more realistic landscapes,” explains Mr Ramsay.
Initially, Mr Ramsay had no plans for bringing his art fair concept overseas but then “people called”, he explains. “I’d get an email from someone who had been to the art fair in Battersea who was Italian and was convinced that it would work in Italy, or somebody who had been to the art fair in New York. They would say, ‘Can we speak?’.”
How the Affordable Art Fair Became a Hit (Telegraph)