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Artist Nelson Makamo selected by art consultant and talks curator Makgati Molebatsi:
Untitled – Medium: Screenprint. Price Range: R50 000
Art consultant Makgati Molebatsi says a turning point in her relationship with one of her influential black art buyers came when she visited the home of her future client and saw that there were works by Nelson Makamo hanging besides works by the famed, late exile Dumile Feni. To be a talented collector, Molebatsi says, you must “have a keen eye and be collecting established artists alongside early career artists that are more affordable.” In the case of Makamo the practice has served his collectors well. From humble beginnings in Modimolle in Limpopo, he has become a sought after and much-copied stylist. His most recent work on auction sold at Strauss & Co in March for a handsome R159 152 when it was expected to fetch half the price. It must have been encouraging for those who bought Makamo’s work early because they merely enjoyed his benevolent, yet somewhat saccharine take on the poorest and youngest on the African continent. According to his website, Makamo “is particularly drawn to children in rural South Africa; he believes that they embody the peace and harmony we all strive for in life.” At this year’s Turbine Art Fair Johannesburg’s Art Vault gallery will be showing two characteristic, earlier screenprints by Makamo from an untitled print portfolio run by Chocolate Ink Studio in Johannesburg. According to Dale Sargent of the Art Vault, international demand for Makamo has meant that the artist has spent a good deal of time outside South Africa, and creating work for international exhibitions in past months. So new work on sale in the country is scarce. On June 23 Makamo opened a solo exhibition titled Souls of Azania at London’s Gallery of African art as part of the Mayfair Art Weekend. “Whether it’s a portrait of a single face, or two children with their arms around each other where you cannot see the faces, Nelson just gets the emotion and the feeling right,” Sargent says. “Other artists that are doing portraits of young kids just don’t get it. “People started buying him because he is a strong investment artist. But at the same time, at every fair I attend someone will buy a work when they have never heard of Nelson Makamo before. They fall in love. With the 2008 auction, Hirst moved out of the world of commodities, which are bought and sold speculatively with a profit motive, and moved into the world of luxury goods, which are bought to be consumed and enjoyed. Which is exactly what art should be! It also focuses on the fact that by moving art sales to “direct sales” between artist and art collector, a considerable amount of art market data has moved out of the reach of those who purport to know about ‘value’. All they know about now is the amounts which are in the public domain because of art sold at auction. That’s not always where the important sales are done any more. After (his 2008 auction sale) Hirst started selling his work directly to collectors, at scale, and stopped playing by the established gallery-system rules. Hirst’s galleries were furious, but there was nothing they could do about it. Freed from gallery constraints, Hirst could make the work he wanted to make, and sell it at whatever price his collectors were willing to pay. Hirst is obviously an artist operating at the very high end of the market. He’s ripped up the rule book and started to reinvent the art market. After partnering with an auction house in 2008 to create a gigantic sale of his work, in 2017 he partnered with a Francois Pinault (the French luxury goods billionaire) and took over two museums to create an enormous thematic show and made the Venice Biennale an explicit commercial venue for buying art. Hirst says that sales from his latest show, in Venice, reached a jaw-dropping three hundred and thirty million dollars as of early November. Artist Nelson Makamo selected by art consultant and talks curator Makgati Molebatsi: It was the complicated German artist and educator Joseph Beuys who famously said, “Everyone is an artist.” And it is consistently debated in the art world whether, with proper mentorship, even the ugliest duckling can become a swan. This is the basis of the special project Fresh Produce, presented by RMB Talent Unlocked at this year’s Turbine Art Fair. To put the theory to the test curator Rolihlahla Mhlanga of Eyethu Gallery has gathered together 15 emerging artists for whom the stakes are high. They have spent the past six months in a career development programme supported by the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (Vansa) and the Assemblage art collective. Programme coordinator Fleur de Bondt speaks of new artists being educated to, “assert themselves in the industry by being made aware of the interdisciplinary nature of the arts sector, and introduce them to new overtures.” So it will be a kind of visual art Idols in a showdown at this year’s Turbine Art Fair. The winner will be the one who sells the most, and networks the best. For Mhlanga, an artist with the necessary aptitude for a successful career is Mmabatho Grace Mokalapa. A 2015 Wits graduate with a BA degree in Fine Arts, Mokalapa is recipient of an Assemblage Studio Bursary from the African Arts Trust and is currently based there as assistant administrator. Mhlanga says of Mokalapa’s body of work titled Night of Sense, “it appealed to me since it is a series of images of constructed environments. These environments are suggestive of an otherworldly space, separate from the familiar. It is mysterious and yet its uncanny appearance suggests a space that operates within laws of nature and a physics of a different kind. It evokes a shifting relationship between body, mind and space.” In her own words, the artist says of her constructed worlds, “The process of my work is experimental and often moves between mediums to convey and evoke experiences with altered spaces. The physical, psychological and perceptual experience of my work is crucial to its success.” Ultimately Mokalapa wants us to achieve a “different understanding of the universe.”

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EVENTS

JOHANNESBURG – STEVENSON
THE SNAKE YOU LEFT INSIDE ME: Participating: Nandipha Mntambo Closing Friday 19 January 2018 STEVENSON JOHANNESBURG 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein Tel: 011 403 1055/1908 || Email: jhb@stevenson.info Stevenson is a contemporary art gallery opened as Michael Stevenson in Cape Town in 2003, and subsequently partnered with David Brodie in Johannesburg in 2008.

JOHANNESBURG – AGOG
GALLERY DESTINATION HANDMADE: Participating: Aubrey Boshoga Closing Monday 22 January 2018 AGOG GALLERY 12 Lower Ross Street, Maboneng Tel: 063 353 8582 || Cell: 079 458 5350 AGOG Gallery is a new and independent space in Maboneng.
DAVID KRUT PROJECTS A PIECE OF WORK: Participating: Various artists Closing Tuesday 30 January 2018 DAVID KRUT PROJECTS 142 Jan Smuts Ave Parkwood Tel: 011 447 0627 || Email: info-jhb@davidkrut.com David Krut Projects is an arts, design and projects gallery space

DURBAN – ARTSPACE ANOMALY
Participating: Corne Eksteen Closing Friday 22 December 2017 ARTSPACE DURBAN 3 Millar Rd, Off Umgeni Rd Tel: +27 31 312 0793 || Email: info@artspace-durban.com artSPACE durban is an art gallery located in a warehouse in a light industrial area near central Durban.

CAPE TOWN – P H CENTRE:
Opening: Wednesday 12 December 2018 at 18:00 BALLENESQUE – Book Launch and Exhibition. RSVP: info@phcentre.co.za. Participating: Roger Ballen Closing Thursday 9 February 2017 P H CENTRE 49 Maynard Street, Gardens, Cape Town Tel: +2721 461 3904 || Email: info@phcentre.co.za P H Centre is a photographic gallery with an open and collaborative spirit. Our soul-purpose is to shine a light on African Photography and related visual culture.

Gabi Ngcobo

Gabi Ngcobo has been appointed curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale, taking place in the summer of 2018. Having participated in the Young Curators Workshop “Eyes Wide Open” during the 5th Berlin Biennale as well as the presentation of the 8th Biennale project “Digging Our Own Graves”, Ngcobo is more than well-versed on the event. She has also been involved with the curation of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, has worked at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, teaches at the University of Witwatersrand’s Wits School of Arts and has had her writings published in various journals.

Gabi Ngcobo

Dr Same Mdluli appointed as gallery manager of Standard Bank Gallery

same mdluli

Standard Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Same Mdluli as the new Manager of the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg.

Dr Mdluli represents a youthful and exciting voice in the contemporary art scene. She is part of a new generation of women taking on the historically male dominated role of curator. Importantly, her appointment is part of Standard Bank’s commitment to excellence and transformation in the arts.

Dr Mdluli holds a PhD in Art History from the University of the Witwatersrand and completed her B-Tech in Fine Arts in 2006 at the University of Johannesburg. Dr Mdluli is involved in various arts and cultural work including serving as chairperson of the Visual Arts Panel of the National Arts Council. She was also co-founder of Sosesame Gallery, aimed at empowering young and up-and-coming artists.

Speaking on her appointment, Dr Mdluli says, “My role at the Standard Bank Gallery is first and foremost to manage the gallery efficiently to be a self-sustaining space, but also to create a strong exhibition programme that increases the visibility of the gallery and the sponsorship work that the bank does. As a non-commercial gallery we have an important part to play. Part of it flows from our institutional capacity to provide resources and sponsorship to develop and grow access to the arts.”

“We are excited and inspired by this appointment of Dr Same Mdluli as Manager of the Standard Bank Gallery,” says Jenny Pheiffer, Head – Brand, Sponsorships and Events at Standard Bank. “She brings a visionary energy to the role. We are convinced that she will help us take the gallery to a new level of leadership as a stakeholder institution of the arts industry in the country and beyond. Her leadership as a respected creative and academic, along with her easy accessibility will surely help to open the doors to more people to fall in love and support art in our country.”

Damien Hirst

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With the 2008 auction, Hirst moved out of the world of commodities, which are bought and sold speculatively with a profit motive, and moved into the world of luxury goods, which are bought to be consumed and enjoyed. Which is exactly what art should be! 

It also focuses on the fact that by moving art sales to
images
artfair-logo-social

With the 2008 auction, Hirst moved out of the world of commodities, which are bought and sold speculatively with a profit motive, and moved into the world of luxury goods, which are bought to be consumed and enjoyed. Which is exactly what art should be!

It also focuses on the fact that by moving art sales to “direct sales” between artist and art collector, a considerable amount of art market data has moved out of the reach of those who purport to know about ‘value’. All they know about now is the amounts which are in the public domain because of art sold at auction. That’s not always where the important sales are done any more.

After (his 2008 auction sale) Hirst started selling his work directly to collectors, at scale, and stopped playing by the established gallery-system rules. Hirst’s galleries were furious, but there was nothing they could do about it. Freed from gallery constraints, Hirst could make the work he wanted to make, and sell it at whatever price his collectors were willing to pay.

Hirst is obviously an artist operating at the very high end of the market. He’s ripped up the rule book and started to reinvent the art market.

After partnering with an auction house in 2008 to create a gigantic sale of his work, in 2017 he partnered with a Francois Pinault (the French luxury goods billionaire) and took over two museums to create an enormous thematic show and made the Venice Biennale an explicit commercial venue for buying art.

Hirst says that sales from his latest show, in Venice, reached a jaw-dropping three hundred and thirty million dollars as of early November