Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel invests in Frieze art fair


Ari Emanuel the co-chief executive of the Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG that represents clients including Oscar-winners Matthew McConaughey and Kevin Costner has confirmed he is to invest in this year’s Frieze London art fair. He is the first outside investor in Frieze that was set up as a private venture in 1991 by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp.

The value of the investment has not been disclosed, but it will add tinsel town glamour to the event that promotes new artists. The founders will still continue to manage the art fair despite the investment. The lead sponsor of Frieze that takes place in Regent’s Park from 6 to 9 October is Deutsche Bank.

Emanuel runs WME-IMG with Patrick Whitesell. In a joint statement, they said: “Amanda and Matthew have built Frieze into an incredible offering for the global art community. Their commitment to supporting artists and galleries by providing them a multidisciplinary platform to showcase their work is unmatched in the industry. We’re proud to be partnering with them and are excited about the possibilities ahead.”

“We’re really pleased to form a partnership with WME-IMG that will help us increase the value of what we do for the galleries we work with,” said Frieze co-founders Slotover and Sharp. “This partnership will open up a broad range of opportunities across all of Frieze’s activities and enable us to start realising innovations we’ve been developing over the last year, which we look forward to announcing soon.”

As part of the agreement, WME-IMG will support the Frieze Tate Fund, the first acquisition fund connected to an art fair. Since 2003, the fund has enabled Tate to purchase 100 works by 69 artists for the Tate Collection. The Frieze Tate Fund will provide £150,000 for Tate to acquire works of art at Frieze London this October.

Emanuel has in the past been active on the board of trustees of P.S. Arts, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organisation that works to bring art education programs to schools in the area. He is said to be the inspiration behind the fictional Hollywood agent Ari Gold in the television series Entourage, played by actor Jeremy Piven.