All Visual Arts, the unique art fund that commissions multiple works and sells a few to establish the value while keeping some to reap the benefits is making a case for itself in this Observer piece which cites an artist whose career was transformed:
Jonathan Wateridge, who paints realistic genre subjects on a large scale, is among six artists – all British – now working with AVA, funded with £5m. He told the Observer: “I’m 38 and [I’ve been in] in poverty for most of my career. Making a living as an artist is difficult and insecure. To have someone willing to give you moral support and back it up financially is fantastic.” He added: “This level of trust seems pretty rare. Most collectors are interested in specific work, but only that work, not an ongoing thing. The notion of patronage doesn’t exist in contemporary collectors.”
While that is not strictly true of every artist – Francis Bacon, for instance, received support from his gallery, the Marlborough – it is the situation faced by most rising figures like Wateridge. But since the beginning of their collaboration, AVA has sold seven Wateridge paintings to François Pinault, a major collector who owns Christie’s. Two of his paintings, each with price tags of £150,000 – 10 times their price before the company’s involvement – are hanging in AVA’s cavernous new exhibition space, a former bus depot, which opened last week in King’s Cross, London.