Art: The Great Escape

Art: The Great Escape

A unique destination located in the beating heart of Palma de Mallorca, Gallery RED is a hub where sought-after contemporary art and iconic design collide. Founded by entrepreneur Drew Aaron, it’s considered one of the most renowned and well-respected galleries in Spain, becoming a pivotal focal point of the buzzing Balearic arts scene.

Offering bespoke services to private clients, interior designers and property developers, Drew and his team are experts in hunting out investment-worthy pieces by both established and emerging international artists, using long-cultivated insider relationships and in-depth market analysis to advise on potential purchases. Multilingual, charismatic and an unashamed art devotee, Drew talks to us about traversing the globe in search of the perfect piece, what you should look for when investing in an artist, and why he’ll never get bored of gazing at Warhol.

What sparked your interest in art?

As a young child, I became fascinated by the works of Andy Warhol, who’s one of my favourite artists. In the early 2000s, I started collecting desirable Warhol paintings. This passion for art grew steadily as I had close friends in the the art world, which aided me in becoming a more astute collector and helped me develop the right strategy for investing in art.

How do you go about sourcing art?

We source art from various channels, including top art dealers and art advisors, and well respected collectors, and we work closely with Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips auction houses. Our strong network allows us to access special works from both established and emerging contemporary artists.

What are you looking for?

When sourcing art, I look for unique and exceptional works that I truly love and that grab me in the moment — they’re always works I would love to live with myself. We focus on artists including Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst and George Condo, as well as many promising emerging talents with potential for future success.

What makes you different from other galleries?

Gallery RED stands out as the primary gallery in Spain specialising in unique works from top, global contemporary artists, such as Warhol, Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Murakami, Kusama etc. Our range is diverse — from the most iconic multiples to unique works on canvas, we cater to all different price points. What really sets us apart is that I’ve been collecting art personally for 20 years, and I apply that approach when hand-selecting every work we purchase, ensuring a really well curated collection of only pieces I am genuinely passionate about.

What should people consider when they're looking to buy art?

 When looking to buy art, people should consider their own individual tastes and a personal connection with the artwork. It's essential to choose pieces that they truly love and would want to spend time with. Additionally, they should review the historical data on the artist’s market; current demand and different genres of their work; and the potential for future value appreciation. Buying unique works is often a much wiser investment in the long-term, opposed to prints or editions.

What are the main considerations when sourcing art for the home?

When sourcing art for the home, one should consider many variables, such as how the artwork fits in the space and complements the overall interior design and aesthetic. Many considerations come into play, including the architecture of the home itself; where the home is geographically located; and what the primary use of the home is. For example, a collector would likely put a different work in their Manhattan flat compared to their beach house in the Hamptons, or their winter home in Miami.

We live in Mallorca, so our family has a minimalist, modern villa, where we include some of our favourite international collectibles from well-established artists. But our main home on the island is a rustic finca in the mountains, and that’s where we raise our children — whom we want to be surrounded by top emerging Spanish artists, and not expensive or fancy art. Gallery RED has helped friends with their homes in Ibiza that have an all-white palette with beautiful sea views, and the work we choose together with the client there, unsurprisingly, has an entirely different Mediterranean vibe.

Explain how your consultancy services work — what do you provide for the client?

Our consultancy services offer personalised guidance to clients looking to build their art collections. We help them understand the art market, identify potential investment opportunities, and make well informed decisions. We provide expert advice on selecting artworks that are aligned with their personal preferences and investment goals. Our goal is to offer a tailored and rewarding art-buying experience. We don’t have a minimum or maximum budget. We have clients coming to visit our spaces who are just beginning their art purchasing experience that might be looking to spend €5,000 to €10,000 and are hoping to double or triple in value over a couple of years. We also work with clients looking who are looking to diversify their portfolio and seeking alternative investments, outside of finance, real estate, and gold. They may wish to park some substantial funds in investment-worthy art. In those cases, the budget might be €1,000,000 to as much as €30,000,000. For me, both cases are equally exciting and this is the part of what I do that I enjoy most.

Do you only work with clients, or do you team up with other design professionals?

While we primarily work with clients directly, we really enjoy collaborating with other professionals, such as interior designers, global architects and some of the top development companies in Mallorca, Ibiza, and all over the world. Two heads are better than one, and we enjoy having external professionals who have a different expertise challenging our team — it maximises our potential when selecting works for a particular project.

What does art bring to our lives?

In my opinion the answer to this question often varies greatly from person to person. What an art piece can bring to someone is something that is, I believe, very personal but in general I would say: creativity and imagination. Art can be a great escape, even if it’s just for a moment. Art encourages people to think beyond the boundaries of everyday life and reality. Art can evoke a wide range of emotions, helping us to process and understand deeper feelings. As a universal language, art can also help us communicate and connect with traditions from different cultures and time periods.

What piece would you love to procure and why?

I am currently working on a project for a client who’s looking for an A+ large scale, colourful, Alexander Calder mobile and a substantial Gerhart Richter abstract bild on canvas. These are not works that you find by simply making a few phone calls or sending some emails — you need to dig deep, get on a plane and go to New York, LA, London or Hong Kong to personally view and evaluate. One client has us on the lookout for a beautiful Rothko on paper or a smaller Rothko canvas. These artists are among the few best artists to invest in, and their works carry profound artistic and historical significance.

You have to choose one artist to look at for the rest of your life, who would you choose and why?

It would have to be Andy Warhol. He has been a significant influence on my passion for art, and his works continue to fascinate and inspire me. His iconic style and exploration of popular culture have left an indelible mark on the art world. Many of his works include some type of subtle sarcasm and include all different combinations of beautiful colours. One of my closest friends has two works in their family foundation that I would truly enjoy seeing every day: Shot Blue Marilyn from 1964, and Warhol’s Thirty Are Better Than One from 1963. Both are absolute masterpieces that excite me every time I come into contact with them. I would never grow bored of them.

Why are the Balearics the best place for Gallery RED?

The Balearics provide an ideal location for Gallery RED due to its safety, stunning natural environment, and international appeal. Mallorca offers a unique blend of culture, gastronomy, and outdoor activities, making it an attractive destination for art lovers and collectors from around the world. We have 12 spaces open to the public in the Balearics, primarily in Mallorca and Ibiza, and it is a great time to visit galleries when you are on holiday, with your family and in a more relaxed mode, so we try to offer a very zen setting. Forbes Magazine this year named Mallorca the number one luxury destination in the world. That was just one of many exciting international points of recognition for the Balearic Islands from well respected publications, including Conde Nast Traveler, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and The Sunday Times.

What's the best way to spend a day in Mallorca?

Explore its beautiful beaches; hike through the Tramuntana mountains; enjoy the local gastronomy; and immerse yourself in the island's rich cultural heritage. Mallorca offers a mix of relaxation and adventure, making it a perfect destination for anyone seeking a balanced and enjoyable experience. The Miró Foundation is a must, as is the Cathedral in Palma. Don’t forget to visit the Gallery as there is an amazing mix of local Mallorcan and international galleries throughout the city centre.