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Curated by: James Robinson
United Kingdom
March 25th, 2011 - May 5th, 2011

United Kingdom


"Desire is the starting point of all achievement. Not a hope, not a wish, but a keen, pulsating desire which transcends everything." Napoleon Hill


desire |dɪˈzʌɪəә| the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state / an inclination to want things

This quote encapsulates my love for the Art world; as an Artist you have to have that single-minded drive to succeed; Martin Summers, the world renowned art dealer, taught me that you should only buy works that you love and I have often felt and witnessed that feeling of standing in front of an artwork, utterly helpless, paralysed by the sense of impending ownership.

Napoleon Hill is the Godfather of "self help". His methods for encouraging positive thought to produce tangible results are still taught today and his book "Think and grow rich" is one of the best selling books of all time.

The book will mean different things to different people, perhaps the secret of his success comes from his ability to tap into the reader at such a basic level, that interpretation is key to understanding. To me, his words and texts are not about material gain, worth is not defined by any currency symbol, it is about who I am, who I want to be, what I believe in and when I am old and grey, what I will have achieved.

My life, so far, has been defined by the Arts. My decision to start The Portman Gallery is not borne of financial gain, but of a need to try to balance the scales. We have thousands of phenomenal artists who either flounder at the feet of YBA's due to lack of opportunity or whose limited exposure comes far down the pecking order compared to our “world beating” football team, all of whom earn more in a week than most emerging artists do in a month. And yet the government will spend millions bidding for a World cup in this country whilst cutting the already measly arts budget.

We need to offer many platforms for emerging artists to show what they can do so that collectors have the opportunity to catch them early in their career and so that we remain at the top of the tree for years to come.

The Portman Gallery and its first ever exhibition is all about that desire. Artists who simply "have" to be artists, they cannot be anything else, producing work that collectors will not hope for, not wish for, but desire for years to come.

- James Robinson, Founder of The Portman Gallery