In just seven short years, Maddox Gallery, founded in London in 2015, has grown into a juggernaut at the intersection of luxury and art. The gallery now has three locations in London, along with outposts in Gstaad and Los Angeles, each offering the gallery’s signature mix of work by blue-chip artists such as KAWS, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring alongside up-and-coming names. including the Connor Brothers, Bradley Theodore and Joseph Klibansky.
Jay Rutland, the gallery’s creative director, has been a leading force since its inception, cultivating an environment that welcomes both established and emerging collectors. In his free time, Rutland devotes himself to building his own unique collection.
Rutland recently spoke to Artnet News about his own journey into the art world, the artists he plans to add to his collection this year, and the gut reaction he gets when he comes across a new work.
Tell me a little bit about your trip. How and why did you start working in art? What has led you to where you are today?
My sister’s husband was a prolific art collector and every time I visited her house they would have added a new work to their collection. It inspired me to collect myself, but I was immediately struck by how inaccessible art galleries were. If you didn’t have one With any prior knowledge of art, it was next to impossible to find someone with an open mind to help you build your collection. This is where the idea for the Maddox Gallery came from. We want to help everyone expand their art collection, whether they are seasoned collectors or have never set foot in an art gallery before.
How do you choose the artists you exhibit? What kind of art are you attracted to and Why?
The way artists have approached Maddox has changed significantly since we started six years ago. It has even changed significantly since the pandemic. The meteoric rise of social media, as well as our increased visibility in the industry, has resulted in unprecedented accessibility for artists and enabled direct conversations between artists and galleries. I recently discovered a new artist named Cooper on Instagram. I messaged him and we started chatting. We quickly organized a Zoom call and then flew it to London to meet the team. I am delighted to announce that we have just signed Cooper exclusively and will be holding his first UK solo show at our flagship location in October this year.
Who do you rank among the most influential artists of our time?
I look at an influential artist as someone who completely disrupts the status quo, and I think Banksy has achieved that. He transformed an art form once reserved for abandoned buildings and subway cars into one of the most coveted genres of our time.
What was your most memorable experience in the art world?
Watching the development of artists and their careers has been particularly exciting, especially when you feel you’ve had a notable impact on their journey. For example, when we first opened Maddox, the Connor Brothers were just emerging on the art scene and now they have an international collector base. Another great example is the rise of contemporary photo artist David Yarrow, with whom we have worked closely for years.
They also have an extensive personal collection. What was the first job you did Bought? Which was the most expensive? Is there a job you are considering? the highlight of the collection?
There are definitely some pieces of art in my collection that I would consider priceless. The sentimental value of art often far outweighs the monetary cost. The first artwork I bought was Rude copper by Banksy in 2004. I vividly remember the excitement I felt when I bought it and I still own it today. I am also an avid collector of George Condo and always look to add more of his work to my collection. Another blue chip name I’m looking to buy is Yayoi Kusama. I love her work and am actively looking for the right piece. In terms of emerging artists, this year I’m excited to hopefully add work by Cooper and Ross Muir, two artists I love.
What advice would you give to a first-time collector?
We talk a lot in the industry about art consultants and understanding art history, and it’s true that visiting galleries and doing some research will help you make an informed and informed decision. There is one thing, however, that you cannot achieve with research alone, and that is that has a connection to a work of art. This gut reaction and personal connection is an essential and unique part of every art purchase.
If you could own one work of art in the world, what would it be?
There is a Warhol that will be auctioned at Christie’s in May Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964). Estimated at $200 million, it is expected to become the most expensive 20th-century work of art on record, although it would need at least double its estimate to surpass it Salvator mouthI. Warhol’s Marilyn design has become synonymous with the artist and the pop movement itself, and I particularly love the vibrancy of the color scheme. It is a truly iconic work of art.
If you weren’t the creative director of an art gallery, what would you be doing?
I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. Art has become a central part of my identity and I could no longer imagine my life without it.
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