Kay Kay Ribane.
Kay Kay Ribane.
Image: Supplied

What is your ultimate luxury?

The (little) free time I have to sleep. And my ability to generate brilliant, fruitful ideas in a short space of time.

What are your essential grooming products?

My fitness routine, my weekly visits to the barber, organic face care, my shaver, and silver shampoo.

Favourite scents?

Natura.Colab infusions — these scents are infused with elements of nature that both expand to envelop you in a soothing aura and provide grounding, creating an atmosphere that centres your energy.

What are the most essential elements of any partnership?

Transparency, clear communication, intention, and synergy.

Heydar Aliyev building, Zaha Hadid.
Heydar Aliyev building, Zaha Hadid.
Image: onlyfabrizio/123rf

What about an artwork attracts your eye first?

Exploration of material, colour, and composition.

What visual artists do you have your eye on?

My lady, Millandrie, and Daniel Arsham.

L’Oreal Professional Silver Shampoo.
L’Oreal Professional Silver Shampoo.
Image: Supplied

What is your all-time favourite place to eat out?

And Then There Was Fire [Cradle of Humankind] and The Pantry [Rosebank, Joburg] — I’m very explorative when it comes to menus. But call me Mr Ribs — I mostly order the best prime ribs and pechito de cerdo (pork belly) at And Then There Was Fire. At The Pantry, my go-to is their great burgers and pizza.

If money were no object, what would your dream buy be?

The Blue Calcite Eroded Porsche 911 sculpture by Arsham or any of his other crystal car sculptures. Also acres of land and a building by Zaha Hadid.

And what are you listening to?

David Goggins [motivational podcast] first thing in the morning, [musicians] Manthe Ribane, Marcus Harvey, and a variety of good music in one playlist on the road. But mostly you’ll find me listening to a timeless selection of jazz. I have John Coltrane on repeat every day.

Daniel Arsham, Bronze Eroded Bunny.
Daniel Arsham, Bronze Eroded Bunny.
Image: Anthony Devlin/GettyImages

We have been reading about the death of the NFT — what is your take?

I find the notion that “NFTs are dying” to be quite unfounded. NFTs represent digital collectibles with the potential for continuous evolution. Declaring the demise of a new medium shortly after its inception seems illogical, especially considering the enduring advantages it offers. These benefits include artists receiving royalties as their creations circulate, traceability of ownership, and the capacity to integrate seamlessly with conventional practices.

Your favourite way to spend a Sunday morning?

Having an outdoor breakfast with my family.

Your favourite summer haunts?

Tropical islands and mountain sites.

Your favourite rooms in the house?

The studio and the kitchen.

Blue Train, John Coltrane.
Blue Train, John Coltrane.
Image: Supplied

What makes the Usurpa way of doing things unique?

Our distinctive approach prioritises artists, emphasising innovation in fine art by merging the African narrative with creativity. We’ve established a dedicated physical space for non-fungible art in Africa.

What do you collect (besides art, of course)?

White socks, loafers, fragrances, suits, and books.

What makes you happiest?

My family has consistently been a source of inspiration, infusing my life with positivity and providing the mental fortitude to tackle the world’s challenges.

A colour that is underrated?

Brown — it’s a grounding colour that fosters a connection with the Earth and, when paired with other colours, it enhances their presence and harmony.

Daniel Arsham, Blue Calcite Eroded Porsche 911.
Daniel Arsham, Blue Calcite Eroded Porsche 911.
Image: Supplied

Minimalism or maximalism?

Minimalism offers a path to declutter and create space for refining your life’s purpose in a world filled with distractions.

The last travel destination that knocked your socks off?

I adore places that provide me with a multitude of enriching experiences. My time at the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden during the Marrakech 1-54 Art Fair was a true highlight. Performing there and immersing myself in the local art scene was incredibly refreshing. Another memorable moment was visiting the Yves Saint Laurent museum [in Marrakech], where I gained a unique perspective on how garments can transcend time and become timeless works of fine art.

What is the one thing you will NEVER find in your fridge?

Alcohol. I don’t drink at all.

A great gift you received recently?

On Father’s Day, my beloved partner surprised me with an incredible gift. She had drawn a beautiful piece that recreated my cherished childhood portrait with my late father.

Which indulgences would you never forgo?

The pleasures of meditating, creating, and reading. The world of zen, literature, knowledge, and art combined is vast and endlessly fascinating.

• From the October edition of Wanted, 2023.

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