What's the Sitch at Sattchi?

The Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London, UK is free of charge to enter, and once you do, you may not want to leave.

Opened in 1985, the museum focuses on art from the contemporary period, and often gives up-and-coming artists a chance at their big break, as opposed to focusing on displaying the work of masters from centuries ago. Part of the appeal of this museum is its stated goal to make art accessible to the masses, and not remain a part of the exclusive lifestyle of the wealthy. Art should be accessible to all.

In addition, artists all over the world are welcome to display their work on the Saatchi Online Gallery. The website enables conversation and collaboration from artists all over the world who would not have ever interacted without such a resource. From time to time, the gallery will hold exhibitions based on the work posted through Saatchi Online, as was the case in 2006, when readers of The Guardian newspaper voted on which artists deserved such honours.

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In 1997, the museum was embroiled in controversy when a giant painting composed of children's handprints that collectively formed the shape of Myra Hindley, a convicted murderer, was attacked by vandals. If the assault on the art was an attempt to get people to avoid being exposed to the work, it backfired. After being restored, the painting drew over 300,000 visitors.

In 2006, another controversial exhibit featuring American art needed to be tagged with a "parental guidance" warning. Strong language, unusual paint substitutes and questionable imagery raised a few eyebrows in the eyes of the press in certain pieces, however, again - the attendance was only bolstered by the free publicity.

This use of the media to draw in crowds should come as no surprise, as the museum was founded by Charles Saatchi, one-half of the brother act that is behind the world renowned advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi. Charles reportedly bought his first painting in 1973 on a visit to Paris with his first wife, and immediately was hooked on art.

The gallery is also well known for its philanthropy, having taken part in donating works to a lending library of that provides art for hospitals, hospices and health centres throughout England, Wales and Ireland.

Regardless of whether you're hoping to see the next new artist, or simply want to take in some art without all the "posh" attitude that is usually associated with museums and art galleries, then Saatchi is the place to go.

Produced and copyrighted by Leon, 2010