Ex-Christie’s auctioneer Tom Best established The Auction Collective in 2017 with the aim of providing a ‘fresh approach to the art market’.
Taking a streamlined approach to UK auction market traditions, the firm works on five principles: it works directly with artists, doesn’t charge buyers commission, always has physical exhibitions, brings art to a wider audience, and prides itself on being ‘quick and simple’.
‘Our radical new business model and innovative tech continue to attract much attention,’ explains Best. ‘In addition to charging no buyer’s commission, we invented the world’s first downloadable bidding paddle, and use the latest fintech to collect and disburse funds.’
It’s been a year of developments for Best, doubling the number of auctions in the calendar, while also spreading the offering to art school graduates, urban and street art and ‘affordable’ auctions. ‘People no longer feel pressured to have big name artists on their walls,’ he says. ‘The next gen of collector have more confidence in their taste and foresight. They buy because they love the artwork and love what they have learnt about the artist.’
Noting an increased interest from collectors to meet artists, he recently set up a bespoke art consultancy. ‘The growth in our art consultancy service has enabled us to help clients beyond individual purchases,’ he explains. ‘Due to our network of emerging and under-represented artists, we help clients build entire collections bespoke for commercial and residential properties.’