Way back in 1996, Will Ramsay opened Will’s Art Warehouse in southwest London to bridge the public’s increasing interest in contemporary art and London’s highbrow gallery scene. By concentrating on relatively unknown artists not carrying a premium for reputation, the gallery was able to offer works from about $100 up to $5,000 from a stable of over 150 artists. The response Will received from his Art Warehouse inspired him to take his approach to the next level, and three years later the Affordable Art Fair was born. By embracing other friendly galleries selling affordable art, the first fair launched in Battersea Park in October 1999. 10,000 visitors took advantage of the ease of buying, breadth of choice, affordable prices and user-friendly approach.
Today, Will’s Art Warehouse still stands and the Affordable Art Fair has become something of a global phenomenon. The Affordable Art Fair now takes place in cities including Amsterdam, Bristol, Brussels, New York, Milan, London, Singapore, Hamburg, Seoul, Stockholm and Hong Kong. Globally, over 1.9 million people have visited an Affordable Art Fair and purchased over $405 million worth of art.
But Will didn’t just stop with the Affordable Art Fair. He also founded the contemporary art hub PULSE, held annually in New York and Miami; co-founded Asia’s leading art fair, the prestigious Art HK (which has since become Art Basel in Hong Kong); as well as being a co-shareholder of Art India, the country’s first international art fair, attracting over 190,000 visitors since its launch in 2008.
Wherever there’s art, there’s Will.