The Hunger CollectionA Unique Investment Opportunity
Following his successful Retrospective at The Saatchi Gallery in October 2016, Townley has agreed to release for sale 10 paintings from The Hunger Collection. These early works, titled after the book of the same name, are now available for private sale.
While art is notoriously difficult to value, the investment value of The Hunger Collection is substantial, in part because they are early works, painted before Townley’s rise to global prominence. As such, they are of enormous significance in Townley’s history as an artist, and their unique place in his life and work is likely to see them appreciate at a rapid rate. Leading art consultant and advisor, Alan Bamberger wrote in Art Business: “Early works are often worth more and tend to be more collectible than later ones, especially those early works done in styles for which artists eventually become best known.”
Every painting in The Hunger Collection is clearly recognisable as a work by Townley. The ferocious images, vibrant colours and intense energy of these paintings are unlike the work of any other living artist. His distinctive style and the extraordinary story of his rise to prominence are two of the principal reasons why Townley’s work has been rising in value every month for the past five years and the his original oil paintings are expected to exceed £1m by the Summer of 2018.
The value of any work of art is also predicated on its authenticity and it is the raw, authentic power of Townley’s work that led billionaire art collector David Sullivan to dedicate an entire room in his mansion to Townley’s work. “I call it the Townley Room,” he says. “I’ve been collecting art for many years and I’ve never encountered an artist who lives and works with the ferocity of Lincoln Townley. He is the embodiment of his art and for any collector that’s what you’re looking for: an artist with a distinctive style who will paint until he drops. I love his work and he’s absolutely the real deal.”
Townley’s work ethic is legendary in the art world. He often paints for days on end, stopping only to snatch a few hours sleep on a chair before starting over again. An untrained artist, it was this work ethic that kept him going when, for many years, he faced rejections from the art world and it wasn’t until he turned forty that he had his fist exhibition in a gallery. This story of perseverance against all odds is the subject of a documentary about his life, due to be released in 2017 and titled 93 No’s, after the number of rejections he received.
His work has now been exhibited in major galleries in cities including London, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, Brisbane and St. Petersburg. He is famous for his portraits of the world’s biggest stars and 2016 was his second consecutive year as official Artist-in-Residence for the BAFTA LA Britannia Awards. It was also the year of his Retrospective at the Saatchi Gallery where he is due to return for a week-long public exhibition of his more recent work The Surprise Collection in September 2017.
As well as the major exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, 2017 will see Townley exhibit The Surprise Collection at The Brisbane Powerhouse in Queensland, Australia. This show runs from 17th August to 1st October 2017. There will be a private view of the collection at The REDSEA Gallery in Brisbane.
Townley has also been lucky to have risen to prominence at a time when the value of Modern and Contemporary Art has risen beyond all expectations and is projected to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In just ten years, the highest price ever paid for an original Francis Bacon painting rose form $8.3m to $143m and an analysis conducted by Artnet found that, over a ten year period between 2003 and 2013, the value of work by leading Young British Artists dramatically outperformed the S&P 500. Despite the 2008 crash, this trend is continuing, as can be seen in the rising value of Townley’s own work. As David Sullivan explains: “I bought my first Townley just over four years ago and I’ve seen its value rise by almost 800%. Statistically, it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made.”
Townley has his own explanation for the appeal of his powerful and intense work: “I express myself without fear. I descend into dark places, which, on many occasions, have almost consumed me. But isn’t that what being an artist means? To paint without restraint, to face the fear of death, violence, insignificance, to know that that the chaos bubbling just below the surface, those unconscious forces we can neither name nor control, have something to teach us about what it means to be alive.”
Investing in art is also investing in an artist’s future and every collector of Townley’s work has asked, “How far can he go?” While exhibitions throughout the world, representation by a Mayfair gallery and soaring prices seem to have answered that question, Sir Michael Caine believes Townley is “the next Andy Warhol” and Deia artist David Templeton, an early admirer of Townley’s work says, “Townley is the new Bacon and I never thought I’d say that about anyone. In the next few years he’ll become one of the leading contemporary artists in the world. There’s no one out there doing what he’s doing with the ferocity he does it.”
Warhol and Bacon are two of the artists Townley has been compared with. However, he now stands as an original and important artist in his own right and The Hunger Collection is Townley’s most deeply personal work. It is a visceral and intense depiction of a life lived on the edge, balanced between creation and destruction. By harnessing the turbulent energy of The Hunger and transforming it into art, he created one of the most authentic, original and compelling collections of paintings in recent art history.
Many of these paintings haven’t been shown before and until now, none of them have been available for sale. For art collectors, they represent a unique opportunity to invest in a pivotal moment in the artistic development of a man who is already being hailed as the leading artist of his generation.
The first 10 paintings are now available on Artnet, the entire collection consists of 103 paintings created during 2010-2012. They form the foundation of the works Townley now paints.