Art By the people, For the people
Written by Briony Haynes
Curated by Nadine Foreman
Art Fairs unite both local and international galleries and collectors, creating an economic platform for contemporary art. This then results in growth of sales in the South African Market. The increasing talent exhibited from overseas is causing art fairs to become an international affair not just in terms of clients but also artists. Although this has its own merits and privileges, it is causing many incredible South African artists to be excluded from their own environment and this increased internationalism seems to be losing the local, inclusivity that other galleries still prioritise.
In this environment, art appears unreachable and exclusive to the select elite. Art Fairs are perhaps becoming a location to showcase the extreme, with artists working in a way to shock and encourage controversy rather than universal enthusiasm. In Carrie Brummer’s ‘Art of Alienation’ she states, “Art is becoming ever more self-absorbed, elite and uninviting. Since when has art had an impact on people and made a difference? We should be more focused as an artist culture on promoting and celebrating changes for the better”
At Art@Africa we want to share our passion for our wonderful country and our diverse art with the world and that only works by removing all barriers of intimidation. We encourage entirely local art and aim to support local communities in order to unlock talent in our country. In doing so, we are able to present more attainable artwork with astonishing heart and soul. We believe that art belongs to everyone and we look to present artists who create honest, unpretentious works.“This does not mean we only exhibit affordable, aesthetically pleasing or popular art. We challenge ourselves to communicate and to create meaningful and memorable art experiences to touch the souls of our audience.” Says Nadine Froneman, Curator.
“The rapidly evolving South African Art world is more vibrant than ever before and we are a very active part of it,” says Akissi Beukman, artist liaison. Many of our works display an aspect of cultural, traditional identity and some combine this with the importance of technology in the modern day. South Africa is a country that is ever questioning its stereotypical identification and Art@Africa looks to present works that express this evolving idea as well as display the positivity associated with the cultural infusion of South Africa.
At Art@Africa we invest in our artists through marketing, financial and legal expertise, 31 years international experience in creating displays, artworks for museums and edutainment centres, as well as our time and enthusiasm. This is all invested into young artists, displaying them amongst the crème de la crème to create an atmosphere of intertwined new and established talent. There is so much talent in our country and we must celebrate it.