CapeTown Art Fair was most certainly on another level this year. It actually felt like the first Art Fair and the others were the preludes. It started with the space – The Cape Town Convention Centre. A space that was born to be utilized for an Art Fair because it is simply one vast blank canvas. Visitors could spread out, step back, and admire the works in a far more pleasurable way. And it wasn’t just the space, and the well orchestrated layout, but individual curation and standard of art works also soured higher this year than its predecessors. CT Art Fair was definitely put on the International list of Art Fairs to visit.
Here are some of the works that stood out for me.
The Green Room (detail) – Olaf Hajek, What if the World
This work is for his upcoming show at What if the World next month. Hajek’s distinctive inclusion of plant life and bold colours, transport the viewer into a magical realm. Hajek always comments on realty versus imagination and I assume The Green Room explores the nature of The Green Room in theatre, hence the curtains. However this is merely a guess so I will have to see the show myself.
Antony Gormley, Galleria Continua
Antony Gormly featured at the Art Fair with Galleria Continua. I am familiar with him due to my many visits to Newcastle to see my family where I have also visited The Angel of The North. Aside from that I haven’t seen much of his work up close. The lying figure was made up of beautifully dainty lines of light metal. It resembled a bunch of thin cubic frames, moulded and squashed together to form the sleeping body.
Peter Eastman, SMAC Gallary
Well it was just per chance that this artist is too linked to Newcastle, a place close to my heart. I didn’t know his name before the art fair and now I won’t forget it. Peter Eastman was born in Newcastle, UK in 1976 and now lives and works in Cape Town. The painting had no details next to it besides the artist’s name. I thought it was a painting and even then was impressed by it. I later found out it was an oil painting on aluminum. That changed everything. The fine detail in this work is mind blowing. The patience behind the work expresses the untouched natural world as the purest form of beauty.
WANK – Ed Young, SMAC Gallery
I liked this one because of its total straightforwardness. It was what it was, and that was a neon light flashing according to the process of, well wanking. Starting off slow and exponetionally speeding up. Provocative and humourous, sticking with Young’s risky trajectory.
Flight 2/3 – Rafael Barrios, Galerie Pascal Janssen
Rafeal Barrios is a Venzulean, American who was born in Lousiana 1947. An artist I hadn’t heard of before, Barrios has exhibited around the world, won various awards and has many public works in Caracus and New York. He creates optical illusions by bending one’s perception of volume. I had to walk right up close to this piece to figure it out. It looks like a 3D render, but Barrios has bent and coloured steal to create depth. His works remind me of Window’s ’95 screen savers, giving them a playful nature. Yet the creation of them is clearly far more complex.