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5 GOOD REASONS TO BUY ART – why you won’t regret it.

The real incentive to progress has been – and always will be – a desire to self-improve. This has little or nothing to do with the simple satisfaction of basic needs like food and shelter.  Today, basic requirements in the modern world are much more sophisticated. The millennial family, living in a big house with electronic gate, art, a dish washing machine and luxury car, have a domestic infrastructure that would make a sixteen century person gasp were they briefly reincarnated.1 Buying art is a highly and emotionally satisfying practice, and here are 5 good reasons why:

The feeling you get when you know it’s original

Original works of art have a certain energy about them that reproductions and mass-produced decorative items simply don’t have. Perhaps it’s the pleasure of buying something timeless. You know just by looking at it that you have a clear sense of the “hands of the maker”, that another human being made it, not a machine. You know there might never be another one like it, ever.

Self-love (which makes it a wonedrful gift)

When you buy art, you buy it for you. We dream of luxury because luxury is self-transformative and self-love at its highest level. What better way to self-indulge, after months of hard work, than to buy art and express yourself? Art allows those who own it and the artist who creates it, to represent their beliefs, feelings, hopes, convictions and philosophies visually. Whether your taste is classic or avant-garde, there are plenty styles; modern, contemporary and pop art; and they all come in various themes, from social commentary, politics to environmental commentary. A person who believes in the empowerment of women or is a feminist, which is both social and political, might choose to cover their homes with artworks created to uplift women like female soldiers (below).  It is about appreciating some of the finer things in life, in which case it’s appreciating yourself and African stories if you are a collector of African art. Contemporary art is the best genre that tells current stories as they happen now, like the painting of Marikana Widows below. Nowadays you can even buy contemporary art online at your own convenience.

Art Makes You Feel Alive

We’ve all been to those bare-walled mansions and townhouses that are cold and unwelcoming. Art revives lifeless interiors- homes as well as businesses- and transforms them into unique, beautiful and engaging environments. Buying art doesn’t just offer a sense of community, it engenders feelings of success, cultural and social distinction. Some say that it even fills a spiritual void. The term commonly used by collectors, however, is that buying art gives them a “high”2

Art commands respect for the people who own it

It is true, a work of art reflects and sometimes even magnifies the personality of the individual who owns it. The impact of an impressive personal art collection can be likened to that of a great museum, and certainly increases the esteem of the owner among their peers. In fact, many of the great personal art collections either end up in museums or become museums. These museums are frequently visited by South African tourists in Europe or America and are starting to be built in South Africa like Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town.

Pleasure or investment

Those who are so inclined realize that art is a tempting investment. Star-studded events like the FNB Joburg Art Fair which attracts thousands of collectors from all over the world makes it harder to resist a purchase with an investment in mind. But before you go on a wild shopping spree, it’s important that you understand the purpose of your purchase. If it’s purely for pleasure, the artist’s profile does not matter, but, if you choose to buy for pleasure and investment with the potential to auction the artworks in future, you should buy right and know what you are buying. Find a gallery or online art specialists or visits art fairs to know which artists to buy. And as the saying goes, “You live but once. You might as well be amusing”.

Art Aficionado with Gloria Whitefield

Gloria Whitefield

Gloria has been collecting art since she was a young girl, literally. Her father, once a respected business man, took her to every exhibition and artfair possible. He later became a remarkable collector of contemporary art, living a passion that will later transcend generations. This began by a man who simply wanted to make sure that…

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The first ever contemporary art auction

By Hlengiwe Vilakati

For a lawyer, the ultimate dream is to become partner, or perhaps an Oscar for the international actor. But if you are an artist, it is to have your artwork placed at a museum or better, watch a crowd of astute collectors battle over your artwork at a major auction house. Such is the story of contemporary artist Ayanda Mabulu’s professional career. Two of his artworks, Black Poetry (2011) and Marikana Widows(2012) are consigned to go on auction at Strauss. Strauss and Co is South Africa’s biggest fine art auctioneer and this is their very first auction dedicated to contemporary art only, marking Ayanda’s first auction inclusion in South Africa.

Major auction houses like Strauss almost only exclusively accept art by artists with established records, or in exceptional cases, artists who are hot at that moment. Born and raised in King Williams Town, Ayanda first achieved fame when his political painting depicting a naked President Jacob Zuma caught the media’s attention back in 2010. Since then he has become synonymously known for creating large artworks that feature three of his most famous motifs: educate, provoke and rife with African history. Though his stories are usually intense, they are without doubt a current reflection of South Africa’s political landscape.

“I am very excited at the opportunity to contribute to the growth of Ayanda’s professional career, as well as the gallery’s. The consignment of Ayanda’s work is good news because we believe this will add value to his portfolio, and hopefully, attract more private and international buyers. So we encourage clients to sign up for the auction for an opportunity to bid. Everyone gets to be part of the African story”, concludes Hlengiwe

This beauty right here, Marikana Widows is a powerful and moving honour to the widows of Marikana, a domestic massacre that still plagues South Africa. By using collage, Ayanda has made reference to artist William Kenridge’s mining head gear in but also Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, an anti-war painting completed in 1937. Driven by the same motif as in Picasso’s Guernica, the sun with the light bulb also takes centre stage in Marikana Widows, which is a symbolic comment against violence in African communities.

Black Poetry is simply magnificent. Its a beautiful narrative of how lively black culture is; there’s humour, darkness and education.

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