Last week the local and international design and art worlds turned their spotlights on Cape Town for the Design Indaba and Cape Town Art Fair. We, however spent some time at the not-so-mainstream, seemingly-hipster but ultimately super-exciting-and-cool, That Art Fair, at the Palms in Woodstock, on until 6 March.
Compiled by Genevieve Putter
For all it’s worth (and it’s worth a lot), come the last two weeks of February, everyone in Cape Town gets a chance to get all cultured and high-brow with some of the biggest art and design events on the calendar taking place within a few days of each other. It’s been the case for the last few years and while Guild Design Fair took a hiatus this year it didn’t stop Capetonians and those visiting getting their art and design fix on… enough to last them till Feb ’17.
While the talk of the town was the Cape Town Art Fair, and if you were lucky enough to have the cash to hit the 3-day Design Indaba conference, good on you, but for us, That Art Fair was where our energy went to admiring artwork of all price brackets, galleries and countries from around SA and Africa. There really was something for all tastes and budgets and at R80 entry it was well worth it especially if you are wanting to start your own collection… These are the future stars of tomorrow, now’s the time people.
One thing was certain when walking into the warehouse space housing the exhibit, That Art Fair is without a doubt honed in a contemporary African vibe. Unsurprising as it is an initiative of Art Africa (artsouthafrica.com) whose aim it is to promote art from Africa and whose network of galleries features some well-known local ones as well as those from all over the continent, not to mention the cross-section of emerging galleries and collectives. The multitude of mediums, was not short on sparse either, whether it was traditional oil on canvas, to sculpture, to graphic design, photography and mixed media, it really was a mixed bag. The common thread holding it all together was its loudly and proudly post-colonial Africanness. And while yes, most people who consider themselves to be art aficionados spent their time and – if they’re privileged enough – their money, at the Cape Town Art Fair, they definitely missed out on witnessing the rawness, the excitement and the energy of Africa’s rising art stars.
Something very cool to see as the world continues it’s love affair with Africa and its immensely creative cache. One that is currently being unlocked by a talented crop of mostly millenials who grew up in a context where the local and the global intertwined in complicated ways and continues to do so.
Here are some of our favourites.