The first Turbine Art Fair took place at the Anglo-Gold Ashanti Turbine Hall in Newtown. Dubbed the ‘affordable’ art fair, works on show ranged from R1000 to just over R20 000. I attended an introductory talk on the contemporary art market, given by a representative of the Steven Welz auction house. This is some of the advice he gave about starting a collection and interrogating artists to include in that collection:
- Look at an artist’s exhibition history – where they’ve exhibited and which curators have engaged with their work
- Which collections they are included in, preferably public ones
- Their commitment to being artists, and innate drive to produce art, no matter what
- What other artists say about them – this will highlight whether other artists deem them a threat
Another piece of advice I received from a different source, was that a piece must be ‘a thing of beauty’, whatever that may mean to you.