Shop Tactics With Abdullah Al-Turki

Saudi-born Abdullah Al-Turki is a contemporary art collector and founding member of the Saudi Art Council, which runs the annual initiative “21,39 Jeddah Arts”. He also sits on Tate’s Middle East North Africa Acquisition Committee, Guggenheim Middle East Council and works closely with London’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). He has recently co-curated the ICA’s latest instalment of ‘Off-Site’ projects: Hong Kongese. The showcase opens in Hong Kong during Art Basel (March 15-17th) and features a group of leading international contemporary artists.

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When he is not travelling to art fairs around the globe, Abdullah counts Mayfair as his second home. In his opinion it is the healthy mix of shops, offices and restaurants, which makes this neighbourhood stand out from any other area of London.

As for buying contemporary art, his advice is always look for the idea not the visual aesthetics or the subject matter, and always follow your instincts. The dedicated follower of fashion also knows how to spot the perfect white shirt and jeans. As for his all-time favourite cheeseburger, pastry chef and DJ night – he reveals all below.

Peyote, 13 Cork Street

Peyote restaurant and bar is mind-expanding in a ‘different’ way. The owner has consulted with Mexico’s most celebrated chefs and uses fresh ingredients to create a unique and authentic cuisine with a modern twist.  The food is delicious and the space has a great vibe.  I go there often during weekends as they usually have great DJ’s spinning live.

Chucs Bar & Grill 30B Dover Street

I first came to know about Chucs through their chef who is also behind the great menu at ‘KX Gym’. At Chucs, the menu features a mix of Italian and continental dishes, all made with the finest ingredients from Positano. With its wood-panelled, yacht-like interior and staff dressed in nautical uniforms, you feel as though you are out at sea. The restaurant is open all day, which makes it particularly useful after gallery hopping, or shopping in Mayfair.

Acne Studios, 13 Dover Street  

Swedish design collective Acne (Ambition to Create Novel Expressions), was founded in 1997 by Mr Jonny Johansson. Initially, the brand specialised in jeans but has since become synonymous with sleek, modern classics infused with Scandinavian cool. The designs are always practical and the colours really reflect my personal style. I buy all my jeans from here, as well as the white button down shirts, which I wear on a daily basis. I also love their quirky slogans such as “You First” etc.

Dover Street Arts Club, 40 Dover Street

The Dover Street Arts club has become my second home ever since it re-opened a few years ago. These days, I spend a lot of time here for meetings and entertaining. The service is always great and the roster of chefs, never fail to impress. There are a wide variety of cuisines to meet everyone’s taste and service is provided all through the day. My favourite cheeseburger in London is the one made here. They also serve amazing sushi. Chef Claude, the pastry master, is very innovative and I believe he bakes the best banana cake pudding in town!

Mayfair Galleries:

Sprüth Magers Gallery, 7A Grafton Street

Skarstedt, 23 Old Bond Street

Dominique Lévy Gallery, 22 Old Bond Street

Pace Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens

Sprüth Magers Gallery is just a few steps from Old Bond Street and I am a huge fan of its art programme. I highly recommend seeing Barbara Kruger’s early works now on at the Skarstedt space and the white abstract exhibition at the Dominique Lévy Gallery. Another current show I would recommend is “A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense”, at the Pace Gallery. This showcases many of the leading figures on the American and European contemporary art scene and gives an insight into their relationship with London between the ‘60’s and ‘80’s.

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