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Reframing The Art World With Jay Rutland


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By Lucy Cocoran on 25th April 2024

Jay Rutland, Maddox Gallery’s Creative Director, has showcased emerging artistic talent alongside blue-chip investment artwork since the gallery’s inception. here, he discusses his passion for collecting, and what lies at the heart of Maddox.

A keen artistic eye is one of many attributes that makes Jay Rutland a notable figure in the art world. At the helm of Maddox Gallery as its Creative Director, Rutland has spent nearly a decade exhibiting the creative endeavours of blue-chip, established, and emerging artists. Now an industry heavyweight, Rutland’s visions for Maddox stem from a discovery made in 2004 after he acquired his first piece of art.

Pictured Left: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Boxer Rebellion, 2018; Top Right: Andy Warhol, Marilyn (F. & S. II.23), 1967; Bottom Right: Yayoi Kusama, Dancing Pumpkin, 2004

“My first purchase was Rude Copper by Banksy,” he tells The Sybarite. It is a work known for being one of the artists’ earliest pieces on paper, depicting a black-and-white policeman showing the middle finger.

“When I started my collection, I was amazed at the barriers to entry set by galleries or auction houses,” he continues. “This opened my eyes to a potential market of keen art buyers who are being ignored.”

This revelation is a founding pillar of Maddox’s philosophy, which seeks to bridge the gap between novice collectors and seasoned buyers, making art more accessible.

“Maddox is an innovator and rule- breaker; our galleries are dynamic and we thrive on pushing boundaries, whether that’s working with an emerging talent on their debut solo exhibition or supporting clients on their investment journey.”

The focus on emerging talent is a defining characteristic of Maddox Gallery, carefully balancing the need to honour historically significant artists while discovering new ones. Circulating art fairs are a favoured method of spotting emerging talent, with Rutland citing Seoul’s KIAF and Art Miami among his favourite dates on the international art calendar.

Equally, in an era where most of us are always online, the power of social media has proven invaluable in sourcing fresh creatives. Rutland credits the signing of Andrew Cooper, an American visual artist, to a DM on Instagram. Cooper is now preparing for his third solo exhibition with the gallery.

Rutland lists “originality, creativity and collectability” as the main attributes when selecting new talent to pursue. These qualities, along with innovation through the creation of unique works, are non- negotiable, with Rutland emphasising the galleries’ desire to work with “creatives who redefine the confines of contemporary art.”

This ability to nurture an artist from emerging to established is a critical aspect of his role as creative director, and one Rutland holds dear.

“That journey is incredibly special to be a part of,” he says, highlighting the power of the creative journey for all involved. Maddox’s decision to place equal emphasis on burgeoning creatives as it does for big name artists is as much an emotionally driven decision as it is a business one.

Banksy, Girl With Balloon (Signed), 2004

The “feeling” aspect of art investment is something Rutland often revisits in our conversation. While recommending that novice collectors undertake research, visit galleries and understand art history to make “well-educated and informed” decisions, he does not shy away from praising the role of emotional reflex.

“There is one thing you cannot achieve from research alone and that is having a connection with a piece of art,” Rutland explains. “It might sound clichéd, but buy what you love. I genuinely believe that if you stick to your gut instincts and buy based on passion, you will never be disappointed with your collection.”

The mentality that art is for everyone is a transformative one. Maddox’s ethos dismantles the narrative that this elite world is impenetrable, encouraging everyone to curate collections that hold so much meaning, they feel priceless.

"If you can enjoy a piece of art on your wall, that also appreciates in value over time, then it’s a win-win situation and it’s this approach that lies at the heart of Maddox."

Artist, Cooper


Will Martyr: I love his alpine- themed works and his depiction of singular moments of escapism. Maddox has hosted two first class exhibitions of Will Martyr’s paintings and the popularity of his original work has consistently grown over time. He creates wonderful limited edition prints that tend to sell out very quickly.

Cooper: Our current artist in residence, Cooper’s technical skill is excelling with each body of work he creates. I’m excited to see how six months of London life will influence his style and develop him further as an artist.

Iván Montaña: Montaña’s work was recently exhibited at our Berkeley Street Gallery in a group exhibition titled ‘Supernatural’ He is an up-and-coming young artist from Spain and his use of colour is incredible. Vibrant, positive and full of energy, I admire works of art that capture your attention and make you want to examine every part of it. That’s how I feel when I look at his work. I have big expectations for this artist.

Maddox Gallery

Address: 9 Maddox St, London W1S 2QE

Phone: 020 7870 7622

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