Cover credits: Katlego Tlabela, Dubai Desert, UAE, 2020.
Cover credits: Katlego Tlabela, Dubai Desert, UAE, 2020.
Image: Katlego Tlabela

Ed's letter | Turn and face the strange 

One full rotation of the globe around the sun ago you would have found me and the Wanted gang lazing on the Ligne Roset sofas of our Art Joburg stand. There we were, laughing amongst Sam Nhlengethwa’s jazz players, gossiping between the Lady Skollies, bumping into absolutely every single person we know in town (many of you, in fact), and wondering whether Jeff Bezos might like to fund a painting-and-sculpture buying spree for us.

Enter 2020, and oh, how the mightily social have fallen. Here I sit in my sweatpants — yes, they are still in rotation — finishing off an issue that we largely put together virtually. Again. Sure, lockdown is abating, the booze is back — I have even ventured out to clock lovely new developments like the recently opened stores you’ll spot in our Navigator section — but I don’t need to tell you what a different world this is.

There will be no physical art fairs in the City of Gold this month, but that’s not the only element of the art landscape that has been absolutely altered thanks to the pandemic. From auctions going online to young artists using Instagram to market themselves, we’re seeing a wave of new, different, and interesting.

I know the players in this game must be nervous of what’ll happen next. Hell, they’ve already withstood six months of instability and must be spinning. That said, it’s always fascinating to see what comes of huge change; who takes the gap, who falls by the wayside, and what emerges from a state of flux.

LOOK | Page through the digital copy of Wanted's September issue (enlarge for easy viewing):

This issue is a crash course in all of the above. With a smattering of crystal-ball-gazing thrown into the mix too. We’re lucky that our managing editor Matthew McClure knows his stuff where this terrain is concerned. Along with top writers like Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine and Graham Wood, he and our team have packed these pages with new faces, the experts, beautiful artwork, and compelling opinion. Read this magazine and you’ll be able to convincingly blag your way through that next art conversation, know where to head once the weather warms up (it’s sculpture parks, by the way), and you’ll hopefully have spotted a little something you’d like to add to your collection.

I’m morose that I won’t see you all on the fair scene this year, but those days cannot possibly be gone forever. And oh, what a razzle we’re all going to have when we can get together next.

I cannot wait.

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