Ben Cotton
Team

Ben Cotton

Founder & Director

Started

Apr 1, 2008

What do you do at Hang-Up?

Boss Man

Favourite Artists?

This is always a difficult one. My collecting roots were originally in street art and whilst I follow this genre less obsessively now than i once did I have huge respect and pay homage to some of the originators of of the scene, guys like Futura, Keith Haring and of course Basquiat.

I find myself often drawn to text based art, I like work that makes me crack a smile; guys like David Shrigley, Tim Fishlock, Christoper Wool and Harland Miller are all big wins for me. I have been collecting their work for many years.

I love the playfullness and dark humour of the wonderful Nancy Fouts, her sculptural works are so cool and I have many of her works in my own collection alongside work from French Street artist Invader and British artists like Grayson Perry, Polly Morgan, Mark Powell and of course the ultimate boss man, Banksy.

Favourite Exhibitions?

This is a hard one as we have put on over 50 exhibitions over the last decade and going through my rusty mental roller-decks to pick one is not easy.

I would say that the opening show of 2020 for the Nancy Fouts retrospective "Fags, Guns and A Couple Of Birds" was probably the most stand out. Nancy was always a bit of an art hero for me so it was such a personal honour to have the opportunity to organise and curate the retrospective at the gallery. The space looked incredible and so clean yet it was filled with bat-shit crazy taxidermy objects lining the walls and a life size donkey in the middle of the space. The turnout was incredible and her friends and family were all very happy which meant a lot to me and the team after all the work that went into it.

I would also mention here the launch of our new space in Hoxton at the end of 2019. Blood, sweat and tears went into the building of the new gallery space which took the best part of a year so we had to pull of an incredible inaugural show. Our favourite artists created new pieces for the launch and we showed work from Tim Fishlock, KAWS, The Connor Brothers, Dave White Marc Quinn, Banksy, Joe Webb, Mark Powell, Nancy Fouts and more, It was essentially the christening of our new home and a very late night with the team, artists, friends and collectors.

Best thing about working at Hang-Up?

Hang-Up was started as an online business in my spare room at home in London back in 2008. I had little idea of what I was really doing so it's been quite an epic journey to get to where we are today. I was fortunate to recognise that buying art online would become common-place as it certainly was not when Hang-Up started out in 2008.

The gallery and the brand has been looked after well over the years with lots of love, care and attention. This has helped us to grow along with our brand manager, Paul's expert online vision and design aesthetic which has played a crucial role in steering the ship and always keeping us 'virtually' one step ahead.

To be the founder and to see this all play out and develop is of course very special for me.

We are blessed to be working with a great team, hard-working, fun and loyal and many have been with us for a lot of years now so we are like a family.

#hangupcrewdem

Best Hang-Up moment?

I like the moment the day after a big successful show. I don't mean the inevitable hangover, that sucks, what I like is coming into the gallery, normally around lunchtime, once the evidence of the night before has gone (thank you team) and the gallery has been cleaned and looking fresh again and then looking around and taking in the new exhibition and feeling super proud that it all came together and we did it so we can breathe again. Until the next one.

Meet the rest of the team

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