2020 was full of challenges, which we all faced head on. The high hopes of January were quickly brushed aside by the realities of March, with the art world fully testing its flexibility. The coronavirus caused upheaval but in its wake came a renewed sense of purpose, a collective coming together and a drive towards innovation. Trends towards the digitalisation of the art market were accelerated, and online exhibitions became commonplace. The year brought tremendous collaborations at D'Stassi Art, with Spotlight collections from the likes of Bonnie and Clyde, Adam Handler, Rugman and Schoony.
Adam Handler - 'Always Near'
Last year saw Adam Handler's star continue to rise, with the New Yorker's market seeing considerable growth. His success was driven by a significant collection of bold, powerful works that hold broad appeal. In order to keep up with demand, one Spotlight collection quickly became three as each subsequent drop sold out. There is a clear appetite for the vivacious pieces that Handler creates, from colourful ghost works to large-scale canvases that engulf the viewer in child-like wonder. It is not just the number of works sold that is increasing but also the length at which those works are travelling - with Handler garnering the attention of collectors from London to New York, Hong Kong and Seoul.
2020 also gave us the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with one of the UK's most exciting contemporary talents - Bonnie and Clyde. The Brighton based artist creates wonderfully dynamic large-scale works that employ both digital arrangements and textured, hand finished flourishes. The end result is striking - a collage that presents depth, real world photography and striking colours. We were able to immerse ourselves in the printing process, learning first-hand the care with which Bonnie and Clyde approaches her prints. Each layer is considered for its impact on the end design and as a result, the piece is always greater than the sum of its parts.
A close up of the craftmanship demonstrated in one of our Bonnie and Clyde Prints.
Before the coronavirus' impact was clear, we were planning on accompanying each Spotlight collection with a physical event of some kind - whether that be an exhibition, launch event or an opportunity to meet the artist. However, it quickly became clear that the collections would be primarily digital drops. All of the works were launched online, with mini-documentaries giving an insight into the artist and their creative process. The care with which we built our online store in 2019 served us well, allowing us to exhibit art in digital gallery spaces, process orders and deliveries without sacrificing the customer experience. It allowed us to be creative in our approach to marketing the works - accompanying releases with pieces in online publications.
It was a year of many firsts, one of which was our sculpture release with Rugman and Schoony. It was part of Rugman's Spotlight collection, which also included originals and limited editions. Americana collided with a rock n roll biker spirit, capturing the essence of cafe racer culture. The sculptures were created as a set of three, combining Rugman's signature helmet motif and Schoony's expertise in bespoke hand crafted moulds. It represents one of the most compelling collaborative efforts of 2020.
2021 brings the opportunity to build on the successes of last year, with some of our most exciting Spotlight collaborations on the horizon. Look out for our next article which will outline our Ones to Watch this year.
The D'Stassi Art team.