Own Art News
12 August 2013
Hang-Up Pictures was launched in 2008 as a gallery based solely online from premises in Shoreditch. It specialised in highly collectible limited edition prints from street artists.
Having expanded quickly, you’ll now find them, and a curated programme of exhibitions, in a lovely space in Stoke Newington. On the website you can still find and buy works by over 150 of the world’s leading urban and contemporary artists.
Ben Cotton is the gallery’s founder and has lived and worked in London for the last 15 years or so. From a magazine background originally, he’d always had an urge to run a business he was passionate about. After a few crazy and seriously unfeasible ideas, he put his energy into making a success in art, which has always been a big part of his life. After a few months in the planning, Hang-Up Pictures was born.
As the expert in all art 'Urban', we thought it was about time we asked Ben a few questions on the subject!
Urban Art has grown massively in popularity, what is the appeal?
I would say that it’s because the art is accessible to all. The very nature of urban art means that it’s all around us so to appreciate it doesn’t require a visit to a museum or gallery. It’s broken down the traditional notion that art is only available to a select few - ‘the elite’.
Like street art, the internet offers immediacy and has played a huge role in increasing its popularity. Keen bloggers will post pictures of new works from across the globe - often before the paint is even dry! These get shared on social media channels by tens of thousands of people and so it spreads…!
The work of high profile artists working in this genre is sometimes replicated and passed off as the artist’s own – what steps can you take to make sure you’re definitely buying an original by the artist you are interested in?
Over the years there have been many artists who have gained recognition in this genre and in some cases the value of their works have risen substantially. These phenomenal increases in value mean that some artists work attracts the attention of those looking to exploit and there have been some well documented of cases of forgery over the last few years
We always advise that you buy from recommended and trusted galleries and if you do buy privately from a stranger, do your homework. Make sure that you obtain a COA (Certificate of Authentication). Check that the number on the print matches the COA and the print. You should also ask for the original receipts and owner history. If in doubt and you’re buying a Banksy, contact Pest Control who authenticate those editions.
Where should people interested in this genre go for inspiration!
East London has an incredible creative and street art scene. Shoreditch, Hackney Wick, Dalston and Stoke Newington are all good places to spot works from known names and emerging artists. Tours now operate to take groups to the best spots! Street art by its very nature is ephemeral - the works can change every day as older pieces are gone over by other artists or buffed away by the Council. This keeps it fresh and exciting.
Are there any particular artists you’re looking to add to your own collection at the moment?
We are currently exhibiting an artist called Mark Powell. It’s been a huge show for us and we have nearly sold all the works already, but I would love to get a large piece from him at some stage. Joe Webb’s fresh feeling collages are also of real interest to me.
Until August 31st 2013, Hang-Up Pictures are offering 5 subscribers of the Own Art newsletter 10% off any artwork (excluding Banksy) costing £2,500 or under (excluding VAT, framing and delivery). If you're making a purchase, please quote OA/HU in any sale or correspondence to be eligible for this offer. The first 5 people to make a purchase will be able to take up the 10% discount offer.