After centuries of neglect by the global art establishment, African art is finally becoming big business. This creates the conditions for a perfect storm locally. While the demand for, and value of, African art is rapidly increasing, the South African art market is notoriously under-regulated and vulnerable to exploitation and the spread of fake art.
It started happening in 2019. Pippa Skotnes would be sitting at her computer and an email would arrive from someone asking her to verify whether an artwork seemingly produced by her late father, world-renowned artist Cecil Skotnes, was really his work.