The Financial Times reports that Steve Lazarides has taken a “seven-figure investment” from a client Wissam Al-Mana, a Qatari billionaire “with retail, property and media interests” who is also married to Janet Jackson. Lazarides, whom you can hear discuss his business in the podcast (above) is using the money to move from his current gallery of Oxford Street in London and expand his business:
“I have spent every single penny we have made in this gallery to reinvest and to try to grow it,” he said. “We now have a manufacturing business making screen prints and we have developed our whole ecommerce business. Now we need investment to grow them to what they are capable of.”
But Mr Lazarides would not comment on whether the market for street art is still booming. At the beginning of his relationship with Banksy, Mr Lazarides sold the artist’s screen prints for just £25 each. In 2014, the same prints had risen in value to tens of thousands of pounds.
Mr Lazarides said: “We have had up years and we have had down years. Anywhere between £3m and £5m in terms of turnover. It has been the same for 4-5 years. It is almost entirely dependent on what kind of shows you put on.”
Qatari cash for Banksy-backer Steve Lazarides’s art gallery (FT.com)