Artwork: Marna Hattingh Lost and Found Gouache and acrylic ink on Fabriano paper 67cm diameter 2013 In Private Collection

Art investment is a popular subject.  It is often debated, and there are endless interpretations of the meaning of that word.

As a gallery owner, investment potential of artworks is never my starting point when putting an exhibition together or selecting an artist for the gallery.  It starts with content, relevance and quality.  The net-worth of an art investment lies in making the right choice; not only by a collector, but more importantly for an art gallery.

I have selected three artists, Barbara Wildenboer, Marna Hattingh and Jan Neethling, all at various stages of their careers.  What they have on common is that their careers have taken off.

Artwork: Marna Hattingh Rain Dogs II Gouache and acrylic ink on Fabriano paper 67cm diameter 2013 In Private Collection
Artwork: Marna Hattingh Everybody loves everyone Acrylic ink on Fabriano paper 70 x 100cm 2012 In Private Collection

What does really mean?  It means that they cannot produce enough original artworks to satisfy their market demand.  It means that these artists are producing works which have comfortably slipped into the international arena where they have found international collectors.

They are tapping into zeitgeist.

Artwork: Barbara Wildenboer Sacrum Simulacrum I Paper construction with clock mechanism 45 x 38cm 2012 In Private CollectionBarbara Wildenboer: Psigologica Biologica Altered book 60 x 65cm 2012 In Private Collection
Artwork: Barbara Wildenboer Psigologica Biologica Altered book 60 x 65cm 2012 In Private Collection
Artwork:  Barbara Wildenboer Acherontia atropos (anterior) Digital print with pins and thread 66cm diameter 2013 In Private Collection

 

What sets them apart from other South African practitioners? 

It is a combination of their preferred genre, the quality and originality of their work and the fact that they cannot over produce.  Each artist produces works which comments on topical and relevant issues, but their works are not time-bound; on the contrary it is timeless.  The reason why they are good investments is not only because their prices are increasing, but because they are working towards a much larger future plan.  Their success lies in their growth plan.  In the case of Marna Hattingh we are already booking shows for 2020.

Artwork: Jan Neethling Syndicate Chief Acrylic on board 60 x 60cm 2012/13 In Private CollectionJan Neethling Politician with Floating Head Acrylic on canvas 70 x 100cm 2012/13 In Private CollectionJan Neethling Nude and Red Blanket Acrylic on canvas 75 x 75cm 2012/13 In Private Collection

 

Politician with Floating Head Acrylic on canvas 70 x 100cm 2012/13 In Private Collection
Artwork: Jan Neethling Politician with Floating Head Acrylic on canvas 70 x 100cm 2012/13 In Private Collection
Artwork: Jan Neethling Nude and Red Blanket Acrylic on canvas 75 x 75cm 2012/13 In Private Collection

As a gallerist I see myself as a long distance runner – I am not a sprinter.  I am the whole LP and not a single on the hit parade.  I select artists who fit into this mould.  A career in the arts can be tough.  An accelerated fast start does not translate into a successful career, and the opposite, a long career does not guarantee success either.  It is the combination of accelerating at the right time.

Post By : Heidi Erdmann. Curator and Owner of

The Photographers Gallery za & ErdmannContemporary

Cape Town