Art is for pleasure. Art is for joy. To enjoy beautifully created images or objects, to live with them and to allow their presence in your life to give you their energy, their colour, their vibrancy, their positivity. Contemporary Art has always given me far more pleasure than Classical Art, a personal thing but something I knew from my childhood. From pleasure evolves a sense of attachment and pride in the ownership of fine objects. I grew up with art as a child, my parents owned a Rembrandt, an Alfred Munnings, and several other amazing but classical paintings. Growing up I took an interest in art galleries without developing a love for Classical Art. Perhaps for a simpleton like me the connection with the subject matter is more difficult in the modern age. But my feelings for Contemporary Art were fired by my travels in my 20’s, by leaving the overcast shores of England’s mediocrity to explore the world beyond through an adult’s eyes.

Suddenly I realised in the sun there were both beautiful and happy places reflected in the people and their paintings, as well as sometimes some serious but brilliant art to view. Spending time in Madrid in particular opened my eyes to art’s joy, their beautiful museums captivated me with Miro, Dali, Picasso and a host of others. I owe the Museo Reina Sofía a particular debt, I would spend hours there. Even Picasso’s Guernica, so traumatic, a plight so desperate, is depicted in such incredible style, in a manner that captivates and creates questions both as to the content and as to the artist’s achievement… How did he paint that??? But in general I felt uplifted and inspired by what I found, as for example the joys of architectural form, in human form, in anything that reaches a certain quality of perfection or approaches an originality, have also created a powerful visual pleasure stimulus.

During my last 20 or more years as a serious collector and art dealer I have always tried to find items that bring me joy, not ones that make me ask too many deep questions or cause me sadness, shock or anxiety. Ones where perhaps the art touches some nostalgic element of my past producing positive emotions or empathy, reminding me of a taste or an aroma, a texture to touch, an event, a person, something or someone I loved. Or perhaps the art reflects the best aspects of human beings, their grace and their beauty, the fine lines and form that contribute towards visual perfection, or perhaps the most lovely aspects of the incredibly varied environment with which Mother Nature has endowed the continents and the oceans. Often to be reminded of such abundance, such beauty, such warmth of emotion helps reduce and take away any stresses or negative energy we acquire with the stress of our day to day lives and activities.

James Cotton

Cotton Contemporary Art

To my mind, in putting together Cotton Contemporary Art’s collection has not been about making loud statements, pushing boundaries, about shock value, or taking on avant garde items for the sake of being seen to have them in the collection. Others may seek the provocation or may revel in the reactions or discomfort created by such items. Contemporary Art is often associated with these traits, as of course the artists themselves make statements on what is important to them and what they see in their lives. They are certainly most entitled to express their emotions, their frustrations, their anger, their tristesse, and they do, often brilliantly, it drives their creativity. But unless they produce work that strikes a chord with me, I probably won’t be their patron or promoter. My opinion is that every piece I am associated with should give enjoyment, should evoke emotions or aid calm relaxation, especially when they are in our homes. If I enjoy, I’m confident my clients will enjoy their ownership too, We live with other people, with our animals and with our art, what we choose to put on our walls and on display is just as much part of our family as our spouses, our children and our pets. And just as it influenced me as a child, indeed producing a fascination with my visual surroundings that has endured, so I’d like to think my own children have enjoyed their visual stimuli from the art I have provided for them in clear and plain sight on a daily basis.

So please enjoy, please feel free to enquire, please feel confident to buy any items that take your fancy. We deliver worldwide, and every destination has its own costs and requirements. Please see our terms and conditions. Fairness in all respects is how we try to operate, always with the best interests of our clients at heart. Our clients recommend us, our customer service is paramount, their satisfaction is everything.

“Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart.” – Longfellow.

Thank you for visiting Cotton Contemporary Art, as you look through the collection I hope you agree that there is much to enjoy amongst the paintings and objets d’art. Please come back and admire our newer pieces taken on to replace those bought by our clients. Please feel free to give us your views and reactions. Should you want to own some of them, please be assured of my absolute commitment to your satisfaction as a client.

I hope to see you or hear from you in person. Be positive and be uplifted, glass half full, never half empty, can do, will do… Never give up, never lapse into cynicism and negativity, there’s a long time that we will be dead but let that be tomorrow’s problem, we seize life and seize the day – carpe diem!!

As ever yours truly,

James Cotton.