Art & Events Interview Caro Meets

Tania Wade: Harry Hill Hooligan

By | Published on Tuesday 26 February 2013


‘Hooligan Art Dealer’ Tania Wade’s gallery at Maison Bertaux in Soho is currently hosting an exhibition of the work of that well-known TV and stage funny man Harry Hill, and it all looks rather good, as well as very in keeping with the persona of the man himself. We spoke to Tania about her gallery, her celebrity clients, and why exactly she’s a hooligan.

CM: You are known as the ‘hooligan art dealer’ – why is this?
TW: Noel Fielding gave me the title – he thinks I’m a little bit eccentric.

CM: What sets you apart from other art dealers?
TW: There’s no one on the board – there is no board – it’s just me and the artists so there are no rules!

CM: One gets the sense that your gallery attracts a celebrity element, is that the case?
TW: A lot of the artists I work with have other careers, like Harry Hill, Noel Fielding and Sigur Ros. I want them to have the opportunity to show a side of them that people don’t often get to see. Their fans come from all over the world to see their art, which is a terrific thing; they get to feel close to the mind of their favourite celebrity.

CM: What made you decide to exhibit Harry Hill’s artworks? Are they for sale?
TW: Harry approached me as he knows I’m Noel Fielding’s art dealer, but he has got a little attached to his art so he doesn’t want to sell, which is sad.

CM: What are Harry Hill’s paintings like? What themes do they address?
TW: They’re true, fact paintings with a cheeky Harry twist. There’s one of Cheryl Cole, all glamorous British sweetheart, then her in America, her face all splodged as no one knows her there. They are like his TV Burp in painting form – deconstructing the celebrity world with a humorous edge. He’s a cheeky genius!

CM: Do you think people are able to take his work seriously, given his, er, sideline as a comedian?
TW: Most definitely; a smile comes over peoples’ faces as they view his work because they know it’s Harry’s humour, and the unusual way he sees things. I feel the technical skill will speak for itself. People often assume because you are a great comedian you cannot have equal, great talent as an artist as well, which is wrong and I want to show this off! It’s what makes them superstars!

CM: Which other artists are you excited about at the moment?
TW: Jeremy Deller. I think he is marvellous. He brings the hidden world and all its obscurities to you. That’s a big job! He’s tiny and beautiful.

CM: Who is your favourite artist of all time?
TW: It’s got to be my main artist: Noel Fielding. Not everyone knows he’s a trained artist. People collect his art all over the world, and I love selling it!

CM: Do you have a favourite London gallery?
TW: I love going to the Royal Academy, it’s such a treat. A proper day out!

Harry Hill’s works will be on show until the end of March, but the gallery is open all year round, see Tania’s website for more information.

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