How exciting it is to show the art that we like, that grabs us and sometimes gives us goose bumps, to the world through our gallery! With this in mind and heart, we went with the Clifton Boulder Gallery to the affordable Artfair (AAF) in Hamburg. The question we asked ourselves was whether the visitors of the fair also thought that they were ready for art from Africa…
Many people think that African art is about masks and beads. Nothing wrong with that, there are absolutely beautiful objects and pieces that, based on African aesthetics and meaning, found their way into many museums. Fewer people are thinking of contemporary art, made by emerging and renowned artists who see themselves as African. Who, unlike the artists of the masks and beads, sign their work with their own name, show and sell, and hope to build themselves a life as an artist. In our view their art deserves a place on the world art market.
Besides the work of a number of mostly South African artists, we also exhibited Peter’s work. Peter is an artist for more than thirty years now and we are, of course, huge fans of his work.
With all this work, we build a stand for the very first time. With great pleasure we made a visual spectacle, attractive enough for visitors to walk in to the stand and to contemplate further. We were content.
The first evening, during the preview, it was still a little quit. The first day it drew the first interested people and the second day the course came into it. The works attracted many eyes and many visitors of the fair were impressed by the work of Mark Hiltout, ‘De Stael’ Landscape (Blue).
Mark Hiltout makes his art of iron plates which are used as walls or roofs of shacks from the townships in and around Cape Town, which are left over because of the construction of stone houses that replace the shacks. Mark buys the plates and sorts them out by color. Then he draws the image he wants to make and starts looking for the plates with the right colors for every piece of work. That means, he doesn’t paint them himself, but uses the color that are already on the plates for decades. Mark attaches the different pieces to each other, creating a fascinating and utterly unique artwork.
This work was one of the works of African artists that has found its way to a German living room, so were some of Peter’s.
For us, our first fair was a great success. Not only did we sell art pieces that we love, we also made some significant steps in our lives as gallerists, the first in a long journey of discovery!