We’ve come a long long way together…through the hard times and the good! We have been looking back and praising ourselves for the key moments that have shaped our status as innovators in the art world...
We’ve gone through multiple evolutions from In The Frame, to artrepublic and now to Enter Gallery. There may be a new name above the door, however we are still the same dynamic team led by art influencer, Lawrence Alkin.
25 years of artrepublic
Our Bond Street gallery has been an iconic presence in Brighton for nearly 3 decades. One of the biggest highlights has to be our 25th Anniversary party with Fatboy Slim where we released our fastest selling limited edition to date, ‘Norman’ by Mark Vessey.
Stamps of Mass Destruction
Never shy of controversy and promoting artistic freedom, in 2003 we worked with James Cauty to publish his 'Stamps of Mass Destruction'. Featuring the Queen wearing a gas mask, the images are still poignant in today's Covid reality but were originally released following the media scare that Saddam Hussein could attack London with chemical weapons and a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq. Royal Mail attempted to ban the prints, claiming that the picture breached their copyright and our battle ended up on the front page of The Times, CNN and ABC in Australia.
James Cauty responded: "I am just an artist doing my job. Are the Royal Mail trying to infringe my artistic freedom?" Our CEO Lawrence said at the time, "I am quite amazed. It has had a fantastic reception. We have had one or two objections and thousands of compliments."
The extreme reaction to the prints meant many of the editions were destroyed, leading them to become even more sought after and desirable among art collectors.
Banksy went POP!
Lawrence has been instrumental in the career of many an artist, including the illusive Banksy.
As part of Brighton Fringe 2004, Lawrence collaborated with Pictures on Walls to take over the 5000 sq. ft space of the Argus Lofts in Brighton. A place now better known as the Basement.
It was one of the first occasions Banksy's work had been exhibited, with limited editions selling for around £100. This poster reveals the profile that Banksy had at the time!
Lawrence eventually went on to sell over 8000 Banksy prints over a three year period. “We sort of recognised that this was a bit of a phenomenon, something special”.
Have a Banksy print to sell? Learn more
‘Shoplifting’ by Lucy Sparrow
With a keen eye for spotting talent within the art world, our CEO Lawrence Alkin has a history of nurturing and showcasing a diverse range of emerging artists.
Lucy Sparrow has carved out her own niche as a contemporary felt artist and was supported by Lawrence with her debut gallery exhibition, ‘Shoplifting’ at the Lawrence Alkin Gallery in Soho in 2016.
Featuring felt versions of the most frequently robbed items in the UK, these tactile artworks combined the innocence of soft toys with illegal activity in an irresistible display overflowing with temptation, begging to be touched or even taken home. This cheeky exhibition invited viewers to break the rules and went against any preconceptions of a traditional stark gallery space where we must look and not touch.
Lucy has gone on to specialise in fully immersive experiences subverting everyday objects into felt, from galleries across the world to international art fairs including Art Basel and Scope Miami. Last year she held her biggest installation to date as she took over the Rockefeller Centre NYC to create Delicatessen on 6th a mesmerising New York deli experience that has received huge accolade across the media and art world.
Back in 2012 BBC series, The Apprentice featured an episode with two of our artists, Pure Evil and Copyright. The teams were asked to co-ordinate a pop-up gallery showcasing urban art to potential buyers.
The spin off show on BBC 2, 'You're Fired' featured our CEO and 'art expert' Lawrence Alkin! See the video of Lawrence offering his insight into selling art and their performance on the challenge
Peter Blake Brighton Box Set
In 2016 the Godfather of Pop Art, Sir Peter Blake came to the gallery and we launched an exclusive Brighton Box Set made up of 5 limited edition archival pigment prints exclusive to artrepublic.
Featuring Blake’s colourful symbol motifs alongside iconic Brighton landmarks and pin ups, the box set was a fitting tribute to the city of Brighton and our close relationship with Sir Peter Blake. Two box sets were later donated to Brighton’s Middle Street School to raise money for a brand new Arts Centre:
“It’s heartening that Peter Blake fans and the local community came together to raise a significant amount for the school. We’re all delighted the money will be put to such good use. I’m also genuinely impressed with the foresight and resilience of the school in using the money to make money at a time when school budgets are so uncertain.” Lawrence Alkin
Art Yard Sale
Our annual Art Yard Sale is an unmissable event for art lovers and one of the highlights of Brighton Fringe Festival. Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have had to postpone the event until further notice in line with this year’s Brighton Fringe festival but we are determined to still bring you this fantastic opportunity to own new and exclusive, affordable artwork direct from the artists who create it.
Often artists can seem like elusive figures – you admire their work and love to see it hanging on your walls at home, but you have a limited idea about the person and process behind the art. The Art Yard Sale takes away the layers of agents, social media and galleries, bringing art lovers face-to-face with their favourite contemporary artists. It also provides artists with an opportunity to give back to their followers, by sharing (and selling) artworks and prints that are either created especially for the event or being sold at a one-off reduced price.
A gallery like no other…
Our unique style of curation has always made us stand out from other galleries across the world, but the way we juxtapose the art does more than that. Showcasing emerging talent alongside established artists is one of the ways we break down barriers of elitism in the art world.
We also extended our gallery space into a second room on Bond Street to make room for exciting events for more people to enjoy the arts in different ways. From our monthly Kids Club that inspires our young artists in the making, to all-access private views that offer a chance to meet the artist and demystify the art world.
In an industry that can be opaque and intimidating, we wanted a name that represented our sense of artistic community and openness. Enter Gallery is the perfect fit for who we are now.
CEO Lawrence Alkin talks to Art Related Noise
A key influencer in the art world, our CEO Lawrence Alkin explains why the time was right to change our name. The online and the gallery elements of the artrepublic brand have long been run by different owners and keeping the same name didn’t make sense anymore. We’re thrilled to finally have a dedicated online space that exemplifies our intentions and a new brand name that encompasses our ethos. It’s time to Enter the new. Enter Gallery…
artrepublic evolves into Enter Gallery - Watch the video