Africa's Art Scene: Contemporary art booming with annual growth of up to 25%
Investing in contemporary art is gaining traction in South Africa. While many still have a keen interest in what they're seeing and enjoy the aesthetics, others are increasingly growing their art collections as a means to build wealth portfolios. Sumitra Nydoo takes a look.
The art world has always been steeped in elitism with a strong focus on Europe and America. But in the past decade, the world has turned its eyes to the African art market. The African contemporary art segment is now booming with annual growth of up to 25%.
JAMES SEY, MARKETING MANAGER ASPIRE ART AUCTIONS "The global art market includes various segment, but in terms of contemporary art, which is the majority of the market in Africa, and in South Africa, particularly, it's anywhere between, depending on the estimate that you're working with, 67-75 billion dollars US, which is kind of a drop in the corporate ocean, but it's quite a significant number when you talk about a trade in artworks."
Globally, the contemporary art segment on its own has averaged growth of 88%. Much of this increase is due to the number of new art fairs, galleries and museums that have opened in the last two decades. But it's the growing number of investors keen to grow their portfolios that's largely driving this demand. The local African market is gaining traction too as international art lovers are starting to appreciate local artistry.
DAVID KRUT, OWNER DAVID KRUT PROJECTS "It's a growing awareness that there's a lot of talent and there's been a history of art making in Africa. A lot of museums realized they have collections, which don't reflect that. And it's time to address that. So the knowledge of the curators, the historians about Africa has grown, many more visits understanding events, art fairs has brought them and the awareness of what it is and the beauty of a lot of work coming in Africa, especially in photography has had a big impact on collectors all over the world."
Global auction turnover on fine art rose 18% in June 2018, totaling $8.5 billion. The market grew on all continents, with a massive 48% increase in turnover in the USA. The other major markets followed suit, with $2 billion in turnover in China and turnover up 18% in the UK to $1.9 billion.
JAMES SEY, MARKETING MANAGER ASPIRE ART AUCTIONS "It really is a passion project to start out with. And then when you're getting into investment collecting as if you're buying from auction, and you're building up a substantial collection, you can start looking at artists who might be performing at a level that is on the up and in ten years' time you're going to get a huge return on your collective investment."
According to the latest wealth report, South African fine art prices rose 28% in the last decade, while global fine art prices rose by 12% over the same period. SN, CGTN, JHB, SA.