Fine Art Collector | Spring 2018

soon became clear that part of the market was not susceptible to the interruption I sought. It therefore made sense to target the future generations of artists, understand their needs and to make sure they supported our brand. Also, I realised that they were the best barometer for trends and changes – if they all suddenly stopped using paint, whilst it wouldn’t be ideal, at least I’d be one of the first to know about it and we could better understand their needs and what materials they want. So what made you look beyond the capital to other cities nationwide…? turned our gaze to the rest of the UK. At that stage, most of the decisions weren’t based on expansion for the sake of expansion – in fact, we probably would have been happier to hunker down in London – but we were gradually seeing the cost for students to attend art school in London was becoming increasingly prohibitive. I had always recognised the lifetime value of making students advocates of Cass Art at the beginning of their studies or career, so it was crucial that we looked at regional art schools to understand where students were going. I think it’s exciting that what was once a London dominated UK art scene has spread its wings and grown out into other areas. The Glasgow School of Art is a great example; they have a wonderful painting tradition there. Spending some time up there and hearing that their graduates were excited by the art scene in Glasgow, and had no plans to move, gave me great Once we had established ourselves in London, we

confidence to open a store in the city. We have also found that Cass Art does well in cities with a strong draw for tourists, thanks largely to our products being recognised as some of the best in the world, and there always being an attraction around quintessentially British brands for overseas visitors. Again, London is no longer the only go to destination for tourists; increasingly cities such as Manchester, Brighton and Edinburgh are attracting a greater share of the tourism trade. We’ve also just opened up our e-commerce offering to Europe, which is exciting, and I certainly hope to see us back in Berlin – where my heritage began – as well as other European cities within my lifetime. Also, it interests me that we seem to overlap a great deal with you and where your Castle Fine Art and Castle Galleries are located. It speaks of our mutual company instincts to recognise where art communities are thriving and where our products will be best received. So perhaps I should look to where you are looking to open your next gallery to gauge

where the next Cass Art ought to be! Art can often express that which words cannot, do you agree…? I strongly believe that the need to be creative is within all of us. It started, if you will, with the first time that our ancestors began depicting everyday scenes in cave paintings, and we can trace frescos and examples of graffiti throughout history. I think - to a degree - things have come full circle, and the desire to make things with our hands is on the rise again. Perhaps it’s natural in an age when the digital world is stripping us of so much that is tangible. From making transactions with smart watches to the phenomenon of bitcoins, people seem to be craving the opportunity to embrace being hands on and having something to show for it. We’re seeing an enormous increase there, which bodes well for the future - after all, what are we supposed to do once the robots takes over?! We’re all creative souls when we allow ourselves to be so. Picasso said it best: “Every child is an artist. The problem


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