South African artists are doing well after rise in global demand

Global Business

With the international art market continuing to boom, artists in South Africa have been taking advantage of the demand.
CCTV’s Travers Andrews reported from Cape Town.

South African artists are doing well after rise in global demand

South African artists are doing well after rise in global demand

With the international art market continuing to boom, artists in South Africa have been taking advantage of the demand. CCTV's Travers Andrews reported from Cape Town.

Hunting for treasure in South Africa, but it’s not gold or diamonds they’re seeking. Officials from one of Britain’s oldest auction houses want artwork that will sell back in London.

They hold two auctions a year, which is solely dedicated to art from the southern tip, and each auction regularly rakes in more than $15 million.

“I do believe that it is a market that is going to grow and continue to grow, so the prices that are paid in London are very strong. And in some ways, one shouldn’t be enormously surprised, because London is one of the capitals of the art world and the collectors on the international market have deep pockets,” Giles Peppiatt, director of South African Art in Bonhams, said.

Bonhams has a reputation dating back centuries for raising fantastic prices from the wealthy. It sold a diamond for $11 million, and a Ferrari for more than $40 million.
South African art also is lucrative.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in the nominal prices paid. I supposed it reached a peak with us selling Irma Stern’s Arab Priest a few years ago for 3.1 million pounds,that would be now about 54 million rand. That was a pretty extraordinary price to receive, and that’s now a world record for any South African painting,” Peppiatt said.

There’s a growing market too for emerging artists, particularly among South Africans living abroad. But for an enthusiastic amateur, what are the chances of making a mint in the art world.