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robin barton Owner, Bankrobber gallery Robin Barton doesn’t like to use the word ‘gallery’ when referring to his art business, Bankrobber. And once you have visited the small space on Lonsdale Road in Notting Hill you realise why. It is not just a collection of art for sale but a space where people feel comfortable visiting and where Clockwise from left: Tom’s Deli; Themes & Variations; Bankrobber; Fara charity shop, Tom Dixon’s the Dock Kitchen; DInny Hall

the art more often than not sparks heated conversations. “I love creating controversy, that’s what I do it for and to get a dialogue going,” the entrepreneur

known for showing cutting edge

explains. “I like to challenge

pieces that almost always have

people’s perceptions; it is better

controversy attached to them.

to have a discussion than not to.”

As the only art dealer who

Barton was a portrait photographer

specialises in salvaged pieces

for magazines such as The Face

by Banksy, he has come under

before becoming an art dealer.

attack by people who felt that the

“The catalyst for creating the

celebrated artist’s work should

ethos of what the Bankrobber is

be left displayed in the streets,

came after I visited the London’s

where it was made. “As we all

Free Art Fair and was astounded

know a lot of his work ends up

by how many young, posh guys

getting destroyed so what I do

in suits there were being rude to

enables people to see his pieces,”

customers unless they knew them.

is Barton’s defence. “I have had

They were intimidating people and

five major pieces come through

I think that is awful. I wanted to

the gallery, and if I hadn’t had

create somewhere people could

them then they would have been

come in and integrate and chat.”

covered up and never seen.”

Exhibiting works by the elusive graffiti artist Banksy, Bankrobber is

The Notting Hill area may have changed since he opened Bankrobber in 1994, but Barton believes that essentially people

If i hadn’t sold those pieces by banksy, they would have been covered up and never seen

are looking for the same thing – a little bit of controversy. Fortunately, he is both willing and able to provide it. 52 Lonsdale Road, W11;


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