Alan Walsh is a British artist and gallery owner based in Monaco who specialises in Riviera and motorsport themed art; through bringing his works to life with bright, bold colours that express positivity and happiness, his works are clean and uncluttered – a reflection of how he believes the world should be. Alan’s father worked in motorsport and as a child Alan regularly travelled to and from the circuits with his mother; to keep him occupied while he was in the car, he was given pencils to draw and, inspired both by his mothers issues of VOGUE and his fathers auto-sport magazines, he often coloured in the dress patterns to match the colours of the F1 cars – therefore merging the two subjects into one. Today, the same subjects, cars and fashion, remain within his work. Each year Alan produces only 25-30 original large hand-painted pieces for clientele of his gallery, which keeps his works in high demand. Here we discuss how the works are created and the profile of client who invests in them…

NS: “Alan, each artwork is incredibly striking and instantly recognisable as one of yours; what materials do you use to create them?“

AW: “Every work starts very simply with a pencil and pad of paper for the concept stage; once I’m happy with a direction, I then draw my subject on A3/A2 size on paper. I came from an illustration background in design agencies so I prefer to work smaller first rather than going straight onto a larger canvas and this also allows me to have more control getting things proportionally correct. The next step is a pencil outline onto canvas. This stage requires quite a bit of rubbing out, the more time spent getting the lines really clean has a huge outcome on the end result. Heavy bodied acrylic paint is then used to colour and I only work with a premium brand of paint called Liquitex (see above). All my pieces are then hand-framed in Monaco using premium oak wood…”

My dad was a racing car engineer so I grew up with motorsport magazines while my mother read VOGUE; I was inspired by the illustrations…”  

Alan Walsh, Walsh Gallery, Monaco

NS: “Do you also create bespoke pieces for designers and private clients?”

AW: “I would say 70% of my time is spent producing work for private clients and this can be anything from a piece incorporating a car collection, a customer’s yacht or plane, a portrait of a hero or family member. Last year a client commissioned me to paint his yacht with a Riviera backdrop which now hangs on board; Aston Martin recently commissioned me to have the James Bond DB5 racing outside the Monte Carlo Casino and then that work was turned into a print and given to their VIP clients as a gift. All works are signed on the front and come with certificate of authenticity. My canvases are also stamped on the back with hidden signatures too…”

My latest gallery is actually my fourth; I previously owned two galleries in Australia before relocating to Monaco in 2019. My wife Emily and I have just opened our new space 200 meters down the road from our previous gallery…”

Alan Walsh, Walsh Gallery, Monaco

NS: “Where can art collectors find your work – do you sell from any other galleries other than your own?”

AW: “We sell from our Monaco gallery which is open Monday through to Saturday 10-30am to 6-30pm; we also offer private viewings where I can talk the clients through the pieces over a glass of champagne, and we sell from the Hotel Martinez in Cannes, where I have my work exhibited. Towards the end of this year, we’re partnering with two other galleries, one in Gstaad, one in Milan, and we are also in discussions regarding Dubai and the Middle East for next year. London is of interest, however only with the right profile gallery; there are only a few galleries I’d like to work with, I wouldn’t just put my work in another gallery for the sake of it; art, for me, isn’t just about ‘painting pretty pictures‘ it’s a business and from a business perspective it doesn’t make sense for me to pay 50% commission if I can sell the same work from my own gallery and keep 100% of the sale…”

I don’t want to devalue my work by mass producing; it’s very easy to devalue yourself as an artist…”

Alan Walsh, Walsh Gallery, Monaco

An Walsh art-piece is the focal point in the lobby of The Martinez; a Walsh illustration on the cover of PRIVATE SKIES

NS: “Which brand collaborations are you most proud of?”

AW: “Our collaboration with Hotel Martinez is really blossoming; we share similar brand values and have a great working relationship. The portrait in the hotel lobby (above left) of founder Emmanuel Martinez is probably the piece I’m most proud of having produced; as an artist, it’s an honour to be the resident artist of such an iconic hotel and be part of the Martinez family. The Martinez has to be my favourite hotel globally; I’m obviously a little biased, however the staff are like a family to us, and waking up to the view from a suite (below) overlooking the ocean does take some beating…”

Artist Alan Walsh overseeing the installation of his art in the lobby of The Martinez in Cannes

An ocean view suite at The Martinez, Cannes

Pierre-Yves Rochon would be the most high profile interior designer I’ve undertaken a project with, to date; I worked with him on the piece for the lobby of the Hotel Martinez. We’re beginning to work locally with several of the interior designers in Monaco, and also over in London…”

Alan Walsh, Walsh Gallery, Monaco

NS: “Returning to the topic of luxury cross-branding and art, are there any other places that incorporate your artworks?“

AW: “Back in 2018, I co-founded a drinks business called Artisan Drinks (see above) in the UK; it’s a mixer and tonic created for gin and the collection includes nine flavours. Each flavour has a different character that I designed on the label, the idea being that each label is a work of art. It’s now a global business and has just launched in the US; I’ve since stepped away from any day to day running and only illustrate the characters, it was becoming too big a project to do part-time. Another drinks brand I helped create, was Blue Coast Brewing which is based in the Cote d’Azur and co-founded by F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo; my illustrations feature throughout the branding and we also did a limited-edition Monaco Grand Prix bottle. In the past I’ve illustrated advertising campaigns for brands such as Coca Cola, Grey Goose Vodka and created exhibitions and art experiences for Porsche and Tag Heuer…”

NS: “What’s the typical profile of your client?”

AW: “A number of my clients are incredibly well known celebrities – including royalty, chart topping musician’s, global sports stars… some of the most influential people on the planet. The majority of my VIP relationships have come from recommendations and that requires trust; one of the reasons we work with the people we do, and enter their homes, is because we are respectful and we’re also very selective about what we share on our social media. I don’t like to say names if they haven’t shared the artwork themselves, however one VIP client who won’t mind me mentioning his name is David Coulthard; David has been fantastic for me in business, he’s very enjoyable to work with and he’s commissioned some very special projects…”

Alan Walsh art-piece (above left); the view from The Fairmont (above right)

For events such as the Grand Prix, we offer low edition silk-screens which are also hand-made and still collector edition pieces…”

Alan Walsh, Walsh Gallery, Monaco

NS: “On the subject of F1, where is you favourite viewing spot for the Grand Prix and will you be celebrating this year?“

AW: “This year, it’s going to be the Fairmont Hotel as I’m ‘live painting’ there for a private event. A couple of years ago we traded a piece of art for two VIP passes on a roof top terrace over looking the first corner and I couldn’t recommend the experience more highly. Then a yacht for the Saturday night is good fun…!”


*MEET THE ARTIST: Alan Walsh has an event scheduled this summer taking place in the garden of The Martinez; contact the Monaco gallery for details.

Comments are closed.