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Artist's Statement

I am a London-based artist who has been making art since 1986.  Since 2011 I have placed the analysis and depiction of financial markets at the centre of my art practice. I am currently creating a fifth series of artworks concerning a crucial aspect of private wealth management, Art as a Derivative V – Single Family Office.

Art as a Derivative – The Concept

The idea of placing the activities of financial markets at the centre of my art practice came to me early in 2011. I began by going over hundreds of hours of interviews and discussion forums in financial media, reading a host of books and reports and taking reams of notes. Every quote that fascinated, that seemed to say something new or with a distinctive voice I noted down as verbatim text, whatever the source.

It wasn't just what was said that increasingly fascinated me but the voices themselves, the words used and their turn of phrase, their local flavour.

There is one other key aspect behind the creation of Art as a Derivative. In recent times financial interests have increasingly played an expanded role in shaping the environment in which artists operate, and most importantly, think about their practice. The truth is that the world of finance has amassed a greater store of theoretical knowledge about art than the art world has about finance. I felt it was time for an artist to place financial matters at the centre of his practice, if only to create a sense of balance.

There are five series so far under Art as a Derivative:

2011/13: Art as a Derivative I – The Financial Crisis Show

2013/15: Art as a Derivative II – Footsie 100 Squared

2015/16: Art as a Derivative III – The Hedge Fund Industry

2016/18: Art as a Derivative IV – The Art of Trade Negotiation

2018/20: Art as a Derivative V – Single Family Office

Art as a Derivative III – The Hedge Fund Industry

I have recently completed a series concerning hedge funds. Each painting covers a specific aspect of this key financial sector, such as Risk Management, Regulation, Size & Structure and Activism. But hedge funds wouldn't be hedge funds if there were not the tales and anecdotes of high rewards and spending excess, stories of luxury, hedonism and political power-play – and all this is referenced. A catalogue providing full and comprehensive accreditation to all references included in the series will accompany any future exhibition of the work.

Art as a Derivative IV – The Art of Trade Negotiation

This new Art as a Derivative series is about negotiating trade deals; a specific and highly specialised skills-set, one that UK plc has not had to employ by and for itself since its accession to the EEC/EU in the 1970s. The paintings address global trade structures and the subtleties of international power-broking. It doesn't take sides, it just gets to the heart of the matter.

There are 8 paintings in the series, each measuring 105x105cm. Each artwork addresses a specific element in the process of constructing and priming an effective negotiating team. There are facts and figures: references to rules and regulations, protocols, directives and schedules – but not too many. In essence, Art as a Derivative IV – The Art of Trade Negotiation takes an entertaining, informative and comprehensive approach to what is perhaps one of the most pressing matters of our time.

Art as a Derivative VI – Private Equity

Now, perhaps more than ever, Private Equity’s growing significance as a motor of economic change and its widening global reach are a hot topic. Long-term and highly exclusive investment strategies with visibly advantageous returns define this burgeoning financial sector. 

With so much driving PE activity over the last decade – not least the pension fund liability gap – across an ever-increasing array of industrial sectors and geographies, Art as a Derivative VI – Private Equity focuses on this pivotal sector in a series of themed verbatim-text paintings.

Art as a Derivative sources and records the opinions of key market participants, top financial journalists and leading academics – both contemporary and historic – as verbatim text. Each themed painting weaves the most incisive and revealing quotations into a form of narrative that somehow says so much more than the sum of its parts. 

Art as a Derivative VI – Private Equity will be AaaD’s central project of 2020/21. It will cut through the speculation, claims and counter-claims that surround PE and depict the essence of one of finance’s most private and yet societally significant strategies…

Art as a Derivative Gallery…

One major development at the close of 2019 that I am particularly pleased to announce is the creation of a permanent gallery space for viewing Art as a Derivative.

From January 2020, paintings from all AaaD series can be viewed by appointment at my studio residence, just minutes from the City of London. Whether you are coming to London on business and would like to visit a unique art show dedicated to financial markets or are based in Town and would like to introduce a group of colleagues to something really different, just contact me to arrange a visit. 

Larry McGinity, 2020

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E-mail: info@hayhillgallery.com