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Dealer James Freeman.

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1. How did you get your start?

I grew up in the trade. Our family antiques business, Vincent Freeman Antiques, has been in Camden Passage since 1966. I went on to study art history and in 2003 I suggested we diversify the space with a contemporary gallery looking onto Upper Street.

We came to an arrangement and I opened my current shop.

On the first Saturday, someone bought the largest painting I had in my show. It wouldn’t fit into the buyer’s Porsche when he came to collect it – so he had to come back with the Range Rover.

2. What do you feel has been driving the trade recently?

It isn’t necessarily driving the whole trade but Instagram has taken off as a major platform for contemporary art in the past couple of years.

Thanks to that, we have enquiries coming in from California to Kuwait to Tokyo to Johannesburg. Instagram is like quicksilver for the contemporary art business.

3. How has the trade changed?

I used to love working with emerging artists but the internet has made that much harder to do. The development path for young artists is very different now. I generally work with more established artists these days but it’s still something I miss.

4. What is the best way to get clients engaged with your stock?

A solid exhibition programme. Giving clients something to really engage with gets back down to the core reasons of why we’re all interested in art in the first place.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

Ale all day long. Or Guinness – that’d do too.

jamesfreemangallery.com

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