The market for collecting art in South Africa is gradually changing. Many more people globally are buying art, understanding it as both an investment class and a personal passion.

Aspire Art Auctions has been actively growing the pool of collectable artists to include work by South African and African artists in the diaspora – artists whose work is relatively under-represented, but whose work will gain in value and traction.

Its recent auction sales vindicate the validity of the approach. Top prices have been fetched for work by African artists such as Dumile Feni, Moshekwa Langa, Peter Clarke, George Pemba, Lucas Sithole, Sam Nhlengethwa and Pascal Marthine Tayou.

In addition to the notable widening of the pool of collectable artists, Aspire is seeing much more traction for its online auctions, running under the brand name Timed Online.

Says Aspire’s director MJ Darroll, “The online auction space is much more amenable for a younger demographic, who are used to the online buying experience, and are not averse to buying art without physically seeing it. Online art market sales globally reached an estimated $3.75 billion in 2016, up 15% from 2015. This gives the online art market an 8.4% share of the overall art market, up from 7.4% in 2015, and the forum is growing from a low base in South Africa also. Read more