Jul 08 2010
So much to do, so little time.

So much to do, so little time.

It is no secret that today’s most successful artists do not just create good artworks; they  also understand the world of business and excel in fields such as  marketing, self-promotion – and beyond. Names like Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons are easy examples to mention here. These artists understand the game. This is fascinating from an observer’s point of view, exciting from any participant’s view and usually good news for those who acquire works by such artists. Those who do not like their work tend to be quite vocal in their criticism, but those who do like their work tend to do well when the investment value of such artists comes into play.

Richard Scott, the artist who was first noticed when he created an artwork on a cellphone that was put on the shortlist of a South African arts award competition in 2005 (and ended up being stolen during the awards ceremony), is the latest name who can be added to the list above.

Though his work is still significantly more affordable ($3000 will buy you a meter by meter sized painting) when compared to the names above, the action is beginning to happen around him. Last week, an anonymous collector paid a deposit to buy Scott’s entire existing catalogue consisting of 80 paintings spread in galleries from Chicago to Cape Town. Though the deal stipulates that current dealers have till the end of July to sell works from this catalogue, the new owner will own all his remaining existing works. They will then be available for significantly more than they can currently be purchased – if he wishes to sell them.

This move by Scott affords him to limit his output of paintings and explore new mediums, from sculpture to prints. If you have been fortunate enough to visit Richard in his studio and seen his dream of creating seven building across the world, under the Richard Scott Art Foundation, then you will understand the impact of this day.

An interesting observation is that if you are reading this before the end of July 2010, you are in a very fortunate position in that you are still in time to acquire a painting at a bargain and watch how its value increases over the next few years. A 1m x 1m tree artwork in 2002 was R1000, in 2010 it is R25000.

This may not yet be an “-ism”, but it sure is a reflection of the world that we live in, and thus valuable.

Charl Bezuidenhout, Worldart, Cape Town

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