Welcome to our weekly online
We are living in a time were the average family's budget includes luxury goods and pursuits such as annual holidays, new cars, computers and entertainment and it is surprising that people are still reluctant to buy an original artwork. The reason for this differs from country to country and I will try to address the reasons I personally think part of the scenario in South Africa.
Many of us grew up with no appreciation for art
or any training in the field. Most people appreciate skill and you don't have to be a
jeweller to recognize a well-made piece of jewellery. The same is true for art, you
don't have to be an artist to appreciate a good work of art. Since we were never
taught to look at art in the right way, we don't have any appreciative skills and
therefore have to rely very heavily on advice from Art Dealers or Gallery owners to guide
us as to when and what to buy. If one looks at the newspaper reports on art, it is
always the most obscure piece or the most expensive piece that makes the front page. The
average man on the street gets very confused because he is made to believe, by
art critics, that this is what art is all about. The irony is that there
are wonderful works by talented artists exhibited in smaller Galleries, which is
ignored by these critics.
We must start off by clearing the age-old tradition of
thought that art is only for the upper classes, the rich and certain ethnic groups.
Even now after the change in South Africa the atmosphere in most Galleries is still
stiff, pompous and intimidating to the casual or first time visitor. People will not
buy if they feel threatened or uncomfortable with their surroundings.
|Except for two
pieces by black artist Solly Malope and one by coloured artist, Conrad Theys,
the exhibition comprising of 99 works was one of white art only.
No wonder that one of the people in the crowd commented that this was a strange "
unrealistic world ". The Gallery has huge potential to be representative of all our
major artist's work from the very early ones up till today and could be a very informative
place for anybody who wants to see examples of early works which one nowadays only
see in our badly administrated Art Museums or at Auction.
Galleries must learn that simplicity is the best way of communication and that a friendly and unpretentious atmosphere is definitely helping to break down barriers with the public. It is very important to educate and accommodate the new buyers as they will be the collectors of tomorrow.
|With the Internet as medium to promote Art online, art has became more accessible to the average person who never had the nerve or the time to visit a conventional Gallery. This has also broken down the elitist concept of art as one can now admire an exhibition from home or the office in ones own time.|
|For those people who are now ready to buy their first piece of art there is a huge opportunity out there, not only in the conventional Galleries but also on the Internet. Look around in Galleries in your area and chat to the owners and don't be afraid to ask questions. Most gallery owners will be eager to help and if not, take your business elsewhere. It is also wise to get a second opinion. If you find the right piece and you are prepared to pay the price, then it is money well spent as one can never spend too much on a good piece of art.|