Invest In Art

Curator’s Pick: Rising Stars — Lee Simmonds

Since the 2013 publication of our very first MFA graduate feature—formerly titled “Invest in Art”— many of the artists selected by Chief Curator Rebecca Wilson have gone on to achieve significant acclaim. For the latest 2019 edition, we are excited to share 31 emerging artists from top schools in the US and UK, chosen by our curators Monty Preston and Aurora Garrison, and Chief Curator Rebecca Wilson.

Rebecca draws on over 15 years’ experience working with emerging artists, honed in part by 7 years spent as a Director at the Saatchi Gallery in London where she created the highly regarded emerging art prize New Sensations.

View Saatchi’s 2019 Rising Stars Collection Here

While there is never a guarantee when it comes to investing in art—we encourage collectors to always buy what they love first and foremost—many of the artists chosen for the Rising Stars series have gone on to enjoy great success with the value of their artworks more than doubling.

We hope you enjoy this selection of our 2019 Rising Stars, all of whom we are very excited to have discovered and believe show great promise.

Curator’s Pick: Lee Simmonds

Lee’s painterly practice is approached with an abstract mentality, appearing and disappearing props and characters through a ruminative investigation of chronic boredom. Born and raised in the suburbs, his paintings depict scenes of every day life, turning subjects and environments on their head in a humorous and sardonic commentary on mundanity. I am especially drawn to his color palette, which reflects his fascination with drabness, and how he contrasts this against tableaus of mutinous characters rebelling against their domestic environments.

About the Rising Star

Lee Simmonds recently graduated with a BFA (Hons) First Class from Oxford University. The Berkshire-born artist was the 1st prize winner of the MS Amlin Young Artist Award, and of the Christ Church JCR A4 Prize. Lee has exhibited his work at the National Portrait Gallery and BP Portrait Award in London, and at the Scottish Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

Love reading about all things art? You can have articles from Canvas, curated collections, and stories about emerging artists delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for the Saatchi Art Newsletter.

About the Author

Monty Preston is the Assistant Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service at