Since its inception in 2013, the Turbine Art Fair (TAF) has grown into one of the highlights on the visual art calendar. Valued by art lovers, investors and art galleries, the Art Fair aims to make art more accessible by hosting talk programmes, partnering with companies like Strauss & Co to educate visitors on South African greats like JH Pierneef and Irma Stern, and providing a space for young, upcoming artists to expose their work to a wider audience. For young investors and first-time buyers, it is the chance to buy artworks that fit their budgets and watch how the careers of young artists progress year on year.
Artist Proof Studio (APS) is one gallery in particular that has done consistently well since the very first TAF. Kim Berman, director of APS, says, ‘Turbine Art Fair is one of Artist Proof Studio’s most significant platforms for showcasing and selling work by emerging artists from APS. We have seen a growing interest in affordable printmaking by the South African public. TAF, for us, introduces our brand to a new younger audience of art buyers looking to start their own art collections.
‘APS seems to have found a niche market for young investors who want to support emerging artists. The work they are interested in buying is excellent in execution and quality, is affordable and vibrant enough for them to proudly display in their homes. Young buyers also base their decision on whether a particular artist or artwork is an “investment buy” and if it is likely to increase in value over time. APS has become the go-to place for emerging talent, with enormous growth and investment potential for galleries and investors alike.’
In addition to this, Berman says that TAF has helped many of their artists grow their careers and increase the value of their art. ‘Some artists, as a result of their success at the Turbine Art Fair have gone on to be offered solo or group shows with established galleries. Young APS alumni who had their first public exposure at Turbine have gone on to make successful careers for themselves in Joburg and Cape Town. Lebohang Motaung, Lindo Zwane, Mario Soares, Sifiso Temba, Mandla Mavengere and Sizwe Khoza, to name a few. Older alumni such as Themba Khumalo, Bambo Sibiya, Lehlohonolo Mashaba, Lebohang Sithole, Jan Tshikhuthula, Phillip Mabote, and Ramarutha Makoba have been able to establish themselves in independent studios and launch their own careers, largely due to exposure through APS on platforms like TAF.’
Dawid Ras, of Dawid Ras Gallery, says, ‘I’ve seen a positive increase, particularly in younger people’s interest and awareness of art overall. The Turbine Art Fair plays an important role in that. The mere fact that TAF allows people to decide for themselves what they like and what not, helps a lot. There is no “we know better” attitude.’
Read more about Artinsure’s longstanding partnership with the Fair, the upcoming Irma Stern exhibition with Strauss & Co, and what Dawid Ras has to say about artists Zolile Phetshane, Neo Matloga and Olaf Bisschoff, by purchasing our June 2018 issue and continue supporting the arts and culture industry by subscribing to our monthly magazine here.