I have decided to close the gallery, after 18 years.
As a gallerist I have always sold art to make exhibitions, I never made exhibitions to sell art.
I opened David Risley Gallery 18 years ago in the East End of London and moved to Copenhagen 9 years ago. I have had the huge pleasure of working with artists who started as and remain friends and artists who started as heroes who I'm now lucky to count among my closest friends. I have just spent a very emotional day calling them all to tell them that the gallery will be closing. They reminded me once again why we did what we did. They were sad about the news but without fail, overwhelmingly kind, supportive and optimistic that we can make a bright future. We have grown up together and traveled the world together. We will continue to work and play together in new forms going forward. I am still working with them directly on upcoming museum shows, commissions, sales and other projects, so don't hesitate to get in touch now. The artists and their work have made the whole adventure a joy.
I recently had the misfortune to hear a thank you speech at an art fair which thanked everybody involved except the artists. We need to remember that without artists there would be no art fairs, no sponsors, no collectors, no consultants, no critics, no magazines, no museums, no transport companies, no gala dinners. No Art World. It has felt recently, with the ever increasing push toward the professionalisation of the art world that the least welcome person in the room is the artist. This is to forget that it is the professional duty of the artist to question, ridicule, provoke and cajole. It is unprofessional of an artist to be a corporate patsy. Especially when everybody in the room is getting paid except the artist.
Thank you to all the staff I've had the pleasure to work with. I watch with love and pride as they have gone on to start their own galleries, recording studios, run art fairs, logistics companies, museum curators, academics, musicians and artists and to continue being brilliant, engaged, wonderful people. Thank you all.
Thank you to all the museums, collectors, critics, truck drivers, money lenders, wall painters, drinks sponsors, bar tenders, performers, cleaners, lawyers, accountants, chefs, musicians, etc. who made it all possible.
The biggest thank you to the gallery artists.
I love you.
Jake and Dinos Chapman
Alex Da Corte
And to all the artists who have exhibited at David Risley Gallery
(bold = solo show)