What will be the focus of your stand at FNB JoburgArtFair and how do you aim to use it as a ‘platform’ for artists?
Artist Proof Studio (APS) has the honour of showcasing the two latest magnificent works by William Kentridge derived from his monumental Triumphs and Laments frieze along the Tiber River in Rome. The Triumph of Bacchus and The Skeletal Horse (that ends the procession of 81 figures) are folding book works each made up of 20 sugar-lift aquatint plates printed on Phumani hand-made hemp and sisal paper and mounted on rough weave cotton cloth. The latest work of Skeletal Horse will be shown for the very first time and APS will have only three prints of these extremely limited editions for sale. This year, APS will be featuring an exciting body of new screenprinted works by selected artists in collaboration with APS Screenprinting. Over ten new works, previewed at One Colour at a Time: a collaborative exhibition of contemporary artists at Wits Art Museum, will be available for sale.
Why is exposure at a fair of this calibre so important for artists? What role do fairs play?
The FNB JoburgArtFair has been pivotal to connecting artists to galleries, galleries to galleries, artists to artists and showcasing dynamic new talent to the South African and international market and industry. APS is proud to have received sponsorship from the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) to participate in the FNB JoburgArtFair for the past seven years. We have grown from strength to strength and the exposure that this platform has offered us has enabled many emerging artist’s careers to flourish. We are exceptionally proud of APS alumni such as Philemon Hlungwane, Mongezi Ncaphayi, Nelson Makamo, Bambo Sibiya, Themba Khumalo, Lehlohonolo Mashaba and many others whose works are profiled in many of the commercial galleries at the fair.
What role does your organisation play as a ‘platform’ for artists? What positive outcomes have you seen from your current projects?
Our organisation’s core function is to create ‘possibilities through excellence’. This extends from our Education programme that subsidises and trains aspiring talented young artists to our alumni and associated artists. Artist Proof Studio employs our top fourth year graduates as interns where they receive professional work experience and are expected to independently produce work that can be showcased on all our sales platforms. We are proud of their ability to enter the art market and support themselves from their practice. APS has a team of master printers who each have many years experience of collaborative printmaking. Their deep commitment to excellence enables alumni and artists that publish with Artist Proof Studio to produce some of the most skillful, dynamic and innovative printmaking work in the country.
What are your organisation’s plans for the rest of 2017 and 2018?
APS has always been focused on ensuring the sustainability of our organisation to honour our mission to support and subsidise quality education for aspiring artists who do not have the finances or necessary qualifications to study at formal tertiary institutions. We are unique in our ability to attract some extraordinary talent that may have otherwise been lost. Our focus going forward is to increase collaborations with a broader pool of innovative African artists who do not necessarily specialise in printmaking. We are very excited to launch an online platform at the beginning of 2018, enabling us to increase our ability to make direct sales to the public.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s FNB JoburgArtFair?
The selection for FNB JoburgArtFair 2017 includes the best of our collaborations with established and emerging artists, showcasing excellence in printmaking. A key collaboration for 2017 has been the printing of a collection of plates from Montey Mahope, a Soweto based artist and musician born in 1934 in Sophiatown who was trained by Gideon Uys. His collection of relief prints track and document the history of Soweto and Sophiatown and other South Western Townships over more than 40 years. We look forward to sharing these collaborative experiences with the public.
Have a look at the FNB JoburgArtFair Platforms here:Friends of the Johannesburg Art Gallery The Market Photo Workshop Artist Proof Studio The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios NWU Gallery M Studio Community SA Mint Kuenyehia Trust For Contemporary Art Orange Babies