Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OMG: Who is buying this kind of art?

It is hard for me to decide what is worse: that there are still artists producing romanticised images of Africa or that these images are being sold in Africa? It would be easy to mistake the above painting to have been produced somewhere in the 1800s but, regrettably, this is a present-day rendering by a Danish Artist called Paul Augustinus whose exhibition of paintings will open at the Everard Read Gallery next week. This is not an extraordinary event; I have received number of invitations from this well-established gallery that have evoked a sense of déjà vu of the worst kind. The question that this phenomenon begs is this: how educated are the buyers of South African art in this country and what is the consequence of this for artists? Could this be why Strauss & Co continue to flog Pierneefs instead of MacGarrys or Hlobos?