While it’s easy to argue that no home is complete without great art, putting your money where your mouth is, is often a much more difficult feat.
With artists such as William Kentridge fetching millions for stand-alone pieces, there’s no denying that much art is beyond the reach of the average gallery spectator.
That said, if you pick wisely, art can become a valuable investment, and the trick is doing your research and discovering artists before they explode on the global scene.
We spoke to three experts working in the art world to find out which artists they would buy now, and why.
The expert: Jillian Ross, master printmaker at David Krut Gallery
The two artists who’d I’d keep my eye on have both been in my studio lately, so I get to watch them and have been doing so for quite some time. They are Nina Torr and Pebofatso Mokoena.
Nina is working with us to make unique prints and Pebofatso is an intern who assists us in making woodcut plates and makes his own work which he shows through Hazard Gallery in Maboneng.
They will both be big because they have grace and ambition, an aptitude for collaboration (which I believe to be a big part of the future of art making) and push and practise technique to the fullest. Both are thoughtful, deliberate and precise in their methods and hold a strong conceptual model in their working process, while still allowing an openness of letting the work guide them.
Nina’s work (pictured above) holds the dynamics of colour, fantasy and the skill of her hand. She is both an illustrator and an artist and combines the two in the most beautiful way.
The layering process of Pebo’s work (pictured above) holds surprising subtleties and depth. The images float in an unusual space and time.
The expert: Zanele Mashumi, owner of Mashumi Arts Projects
I’ve always been a fan of Cape-Town based photographer, Tony Gum (work pictured below). She's only been in the industry for three or so years, and in this short space of time she has already made a name for herself. She was a featured artist for last year’s FNB Joburg Art Fair and exhibited at Art Basel Miami, too.
I like her approach to photography, as she challenges our everyday norm. For instance, with her Coca-Cola series, she incorporated the brand into our everyday life, substituting it for everyday objects.
Another artist I’d look into is Mthomisi Maphumulo (work pictured below). He’s a multimedia artists based in Durban and works in printmaking and oil pastel. His prints really capture the eye, with their somewhat distorted figures, and I love the way he is able to capture ordinary people's stories through his work.
He has had a few shows in Joburg and is the founder of Amasosha Art Movement, a collective of young artists based in Durban.
The expert: Lucy MacGarry, curator of the SA pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale
I'm currently intrigued by Buhlebezwe Siwani's ascendant career. It is becoming increasingly important for artists to explore diverse and multidisciplinary ways of working to present themselves as dynamic and engaged. Buhle (work pictured below) represents a generation of provocative, young South African visual artists that are breaking boundaries between performance, video, photography and installation.
Using her body as site of power and protest, as well as her personal journey as a Sangoma, she explores the creative and sacred rituals that inform her identity and politics. The result is a highly idiosyncratic and layered narrative defined by Buhle's response to feminism, patriarchy, liminality and spirituality.
I would recommend acquiring a series of Buhle's photographs as an accessible way to invest.
It is with a similar sense of agency that Lady Skollie (work pictured below) is taking the art world by storm. An intensely feminist artist, with a sizeable fanbase on social media and her own podcast where she discusses sexuality and relationships, Lady Skollie explores notions of the taboo, pleasure, consent and abuse in her practice.
In her latest exhibition, 'Lust Politics' (2017) at Tyburn Gallery London, she surprised audiences with a series of beautifully executed, exotic paintings that combine ink, watercolour and crayon. These works, if still available, would have pride of place in any collection.