Modern and Contemporary art dealer Neil Honor.

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He is exhibiting for the first time at The Cotswold Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association Fair.

1 How did you get your start?

As a teenager, my first Saturday job was working in a local gallery and I loved it. I went on to have a career in public relations but continued to collect Modern British and contemporary art. Like many people in office jobs, I dreamed one day of returning to my first love. Just over 10 years ago, with a big birthday looming, it finally felt like the right time to make the leap.

2 What challenges are facing the trade in the coming months?

The economic situation in the UK continues to be challenging and I don’t see that changing in the next year or so. Moreover, I do believe national media coverage plays a big role – if your trusted morning paper tells you you’re going to be poorer, you’re likely to start believing it.

I also think the way in which many auction houses have pivoted to target private collectors presents some interesting challenges for the trade. Historically, of course, auctions were the ‘wholesale’ source for dealers, but in recent years they’ve realised there’s more money to be made by cutting out the ‘middle-men’.

However, their business model dictates that the main measure of what’s worth selling is often financial. By contrast, galleries and dealers have built reputations and influenced tastes by finding (and championing) artists whose work may be challenging or ahead of the curve. So I definitely think there’s room for both.

3 What is one great discovery you’ve made?

I was lucky enough to visit the potter Rupert Spira shortly before he stopped making. Seeing his auction prices now, my only regret is that I didn’t buy more.

4 What is one item you couldn’t do without?

Early on in my second career, a wellknown dealer reminded me that you have to shift your mindset from being a collector to being a dealer. Since then, there’s honestly been very little I couldn’t live without. I enjoy choosing and owning pieces for a while, but I love the buzz of selling them too.

5 Who do you admire in the art/ antiques world (in or outside the trade)?

Fellow Mod Brit dealer Neil Schofield has a great eye and he’s always been very generous with his advice.

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