The FNB Joburg Art Fair (JAF) led the way as Africa’s first art fair, introducing the international trend that transformed the relationship of the art market worldwide to the local scene. It remains the biggest art fair in Africa. Last year, in just one weekend, it generated sales of R46m, and the year before it drew R43m. But even as the JAF expands, the terrain in which it operates is shifting. As interest in African art grows globally, the fair has a unique responsibility, as nearly half of art sales worldwide are estimated to take place at art fairs. The general feel is that as the JAF enters its second decade, there’s less of an emphasis than in previous years on trying to prove the quality and validity of SA and African art by seeking affirmation overseas. The art world abroad has come to Africa, and African art now has to present itself on its own terms.

The double-sidedness of this situation can be seen in the selection of Billie Zangewa as featured artist. Her Malawia...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.