Picture this: It's 1952, and you stumble upon undiscovered charcoal prints by a young David Hockney at the Royal College of Arts degree show, priced at just £5-100. Fast forward to today, and you'd be witnessing a remarkable return on your investment, potentially worth thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pounds. There is tremendous potential in recognising and investing in emerging British artists—an opportunity not to be overlooked.
Despite financial challenges in 2023, this year remains crucial for art investors. The UK has shown robustness in the global art market, securing the second position (Art Basel) and displaying remarkable resilience despite Brexit and the ongoing cost of living crisis. In fact, art serves as a refuge for investors seeking protection from rising inflation, maintaining its value when traditional currencies fluctuate.
Buying art for investment not only supports the thriving British art scene but also introduces a secure, low-volatility asset, diversifying your portfolio. Whether you're a collector, an investor, or simply contemplating starting an art collection, this article acts as your guide to identifying promising emerging British artists for 2023. It considers artistic talent, resilience, and current economic factors in the UK art market while adhering to timeless investment principles.
What is an Emerging Artist?
In investment terms, an emerging artist represents the potential for rapid price appreciation. This designation transcends mere gallery exhibitions; it extends to recognition from esteemed institutions and influential figures in the art world. The landscape for discovering new talent is ever-expanding, but choosing the right up-and-coming artist to invest in is paramount. Ideally, their work should not only resonate with you but also hold the promise of long-term value, surpassing transient trends.
The select group of contemporary British artists featured in this article stands out, garnering increased recognition from museums, galleries, auction houses, collectors, and journalists.Thisacknowledgementt sets them apart in the art landscape, marking them as potential assets for astute investors seeking both artistic resonance and long-term value.
Industry Tips for Finding Emerging British Artists:
1. Originality: Look for artists who offer a new take on traditional mediums or who experiment with unconventional materials.
2. Consistency: Artists who consistently produce high-quality work demonstrate dedication and discipline. Look for those whose style and techniques are recognisable across multiple pieces.
3. Education: A creative, art history education is key to finding informed artists. Look to graduate shows at prestigious institutions like Central Saint Martins, Goldsmiths, Royal Academy of Arts, Slade School of Fine Art and Kingston School of Arts to spot emerging UK talent.
4. Awards and Recognition: Consider those who hold accolades from prestigious organisations or participate in renowned exhibitions and competitions like The Future Generation Art Prize, John Moores Painting Prize and Frieze Artist Award. These are strong indicators of their potential.
5. Work With a Trusted Art Consultancy: Engaging a reputable UK art consultancy is a highly sensible strategy to find emerging artists worth your time and money. Here at Artelier, our team of specialist art consultants are equipped for finding up-and-coming UK artists, with over 15 years of industry experience. With our central offices at the heart of the global art market, we are uniquely positioned to connect you with the best artists to invest in, helping you build a diverse and valuable art collection.
1. Graham Crowley
The inky, heavily textured work by this UK based painter is coming increasingly into recognition, having just won the highly-esteemed John Moores Painting Prize. Crowley's award-winning artwork reduces object detail in favour of the artist's mark-making, pushing texture to the foreground for a visual language of the human experience. His work masterfully carries forward the British landscape tradition, infusing it with a uniquely lustrous palette, making him our first contemporary UK artist to consider investing in.
2. Josh Gluckstein
Social-media sensation, UK-based artist Gluckstein is a prime example of how one can achieve international recognition through bypassing the traditionally slower routes, and creating his own content for the public to push him to fame. Displaying his magnificent works into bite-sized pieces on TikTok, his recycled cardboard artworks are becoming growingly recognised by journalists, art collectors and galleries alike. With sustainability at the heart of his artistic practice, Gluckstein's life-size animal artworks would be a suitable investment for a corporate art collection, providing a sense of community and refuge from the digital space.
3. Jadé Fadojutimi
In the world of contemporary UK art, skilled painter Jade Fadojutimi, represented by Gagosian London, achieved a remarkable feat last year when her work sold out before Frieze London even opened. Her vibrant abstract paintings, infused with pop art and symbolism exude a unique artistic flair that art enthusiasts are snapping up. Although currently priced in the thousands of pounds, she occupies a distinctive niche in the art world. As we look forward to the September and October sales, it's clear that her market value is on a rapid upward trajectory, making her a top UK artist to watch and invest in.
4. Patrick Walls
Walls is a lesser-known artist than the others listed, but is highly specialised in his field: public art sculptures and smaller 3D minimalist sculptures using carved stone/cast metal. His artwork delves into two primary themes: "air/water," which explores waveforms and patterns, and "volume/time," accentuating the natural properties of stone through hand finishing, highlighting its form developed over millennia. He exemplifies an artist emerging onto the public stage, with commercial gallery representation and his most recent public artwork unveiled last year—a minimalist art sculpture depicting an infinite steel loop symbolising unity between riverbanks, linked by a single bridge.
5. Richard Ayodeji Ikhide
Nigerian-born British artist Richard Ikhide is making waves this year, with his most recent online show at Victoria Miro Gallery selling out in an hour. From a distance, Ihkide's dream-like artworks appear like hazy colourful landscapes on the precipice of the absurd, but on closer inspection one can appreciate his references: West African art, Nigeria's Edo religion, video games, and Japanese manga interwoven to curate a story of the past and future. Increasingly being offered more solo shows, this emerging UK artist is one to watch.
6. Victor Seaward
Seaward, who recently showcased his work at Sculpture in the City, London, is a rising artist gaining prominence. His innovative artistic approach frequently employs a 3D printer to craft captivatingly contrasting pieces from durable PETG material. These pieces are small surrealist 3D artworks resembling nests or fruit. In 2023, there is evidently a growing focus on sustainable art due to mounting concerns about climate change. Investing in an artist like Seaward is not only a prudent choice but also an environmentally conscious one.
7. Lydia Blakeley
Similarly interested in capturing the digital age, Blakely encapsulates quintessential aspects of UK culture in her paintings, for a myriad of classes and people. Her subjects range from pedigreed dog shows to post-drinking gatherings, drawing inspiration from internet culture. Blakeley's art challenges conventional ideals, scrutinising aspiration and commercialism in the digital age we live. Her sun-bleached aesthetics, reminiscent of 1980s brochures, offer a unique fine art investment opportunity that questions the influence of the internet on modern life.
8. Dominique White
Winner of the 2022-2024 Max Mara Prize for Women, White's oeuvre has found consistency and meaning by referencing black subjectivity and Afro-pessimism. Her ghostly 3D sculptures typically take the form of art installations, fragile and sophisticated in composition, they are composed of clay and other found materials referencing nautical legends. Her major solo show will take place at the prestigious Whitechapel Gallery, London in 2024, so we recommend collecting her work sooner rather than later.
9. Martyn Cross
This contemporary artist immerses viewers in dreamscapes through paintings that transform the ordinary into hazy, uncanny scenes. After two decades of dual pursuits, he embraced full-time artistry in 2020. Influenced by medieval art and science fiction, Cross's subconscious sources create an immersive artistic universe, using elements both old and new. His meticulous pigment crafting challenges traditional notions of time and history. With international recognition, his visually unique artworks offer a compelling choice for art enthusiasts and investors looking for emerging British artists with a truly fresh perspective.
10. Louise Giovanelli
Giovanelli's art is gaining global recognition, notably after her debut at London's White Cube last year. A refined contemporary British artist, her luminous oil-on-canvas pieces skillfully blend hyper-realism with abstraction, creating a surreal yet photographic quality. Drawing from Old Master paintings and infusing her unique perspective, her work is currently affordably priced in single digits. With the thriving art market's focus on feminist reinterpretation, she's a top UK artist for investment.
Need More Advice?
Artelier is your partner in navigating the world of emerging British artists.
Our Art Concierge service, powered by seasoned art consultants, excels in identifying budding talents and meticulously curating collections tailored to your investment objectives. As a turn-key art consultancy, we work diligently to curate a collection from research to our framing service and installation.
To complement these principles, we also offer eco-friendly British wood frames, providing you with an opportunity to invest sustainably while supporting rising stars in the art world.