The media entrepreneur talks us through the best bits of his art collection.
Ever since serial entrepreneur David Ciclitira was given a major break at the age of 23, enabling him to co-found the first British Satellite Broadcasting company, which would later merge with Sky TV, he has been committed to supporting young talent. An avid collector, he launched the Global Eye programme in 2008 to spot and promote emerging artists around the world. His Start art fairs, now in their ninth year, run annually at Saatchi Gallery, with the next taking place between 12th-16th October 2022. They showcase tomorrow’s international art stars, and a new Start launched in Seoul in September 2022.
Here, he shares a few of personal favourites from his art collection.
Harry George Theaker (1873-1954), When a queen, long dead, was young
The abundant detail typical of the pre-Raphaelites is wholly evident in this work by Theaker. I have yet to tire of its intense colour and complex composition, despite having owned it for more than 35 years.
Ernest Howard Shepard (1879-1976), Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet
I’ve long been an admirer of AA Milne’s andromorphic teddy bear, Pooh and his associates. EH Shepard’s illustrations are wonderful depictions in pen and ink of Milne’s characters. I purchased Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet more than three decades ago for what now seems a trifle (£5,000) given that its value is now in the hundreds of thousands.
Mohau Modisakeng, Ditaola II
I discovered Modisakeng on a visit to Cape Town almost 10 years ago. I purchased this work and brought him and a series of compelling images to London for the Start Art Fair in 2014, which was his first exhibition outside South Africa. Back then, he was relatively unknown and has since become a phenomenal artist, collecting a plethora of accolades.
In 2020, we marked the 10th anniversary of the Global Eye programme with a third focus on Korean contemporary art. While working with K-pop musicians, I discovered that one of its biggest and most important stars, Song Min-ho of the band Winner, not only has a passion for visual art but is also a painter. This discovery led me to make him an ambassador of the touring exhibition.
Young in Hong, Procession
Bristol-based Korean artist Young in Hong was selected by my wife and I to participate in the first Korean Eye: Energy and Matter in 2010, from which we acquired Procession. The artwork has travelled the world, being featured in numerous exhibitions and now gives us great pleasure, having pride of place in the TV room of our London home.