Starting this weekend, Fried Contemporary is hosting a Young Collectors exhibition that aims to instill the habit of collecting art in young art-appreciators.
The show was curated by Shenaz Mahomed and marks her solo curatorial debut, an experience she describes as “insightful but a bit complex at times”. She began the process with substantial research on the topic of art collecting, thereafter drawing up a proposal for the show. “I was surprised to learn that over 90% of art collectors in South Africa are over 40 years old. This is where I had the idea for ‘Young Collectors’, and so my curatorial premise focuses on those individuals, not excluding institutions and businesses who might have always wanted to start or expand an art collection,” she explains. The purpose of the show is to encourage a kind of buying culture that is not yet common in South Africa, and the works on offer are priced to fit a budget between R2500 to R20 000.
For Shenaz, collecting art as a young person is an important way of expressing yourself. Essentially, an art collection is a compilation of a person’s interests that are specifically chosen to reflect their personal tastes or feelings. “Building an art collection is a way of honing in or making sense of what’s valuable and attractive to you mentally, aesthetically and even emotionally,” she says.
Although intuitive art buying depends on the individual, it tends to be very different when it’s for investment purposes – which brings with it a few considerations. Shenaz says, “With regards to investment one of the most important things to consider is doing research on an artist or artwork beforehand. What type of work are you looking for? Is the artist established locally or internationally? Get to know the art market well. This is important when your collection comes together. Being selective is key as your collection needs to follow a direction. Grouping works well is essential as you may find that the collection as a whole becomes more valuable than individual parts.”
The upcoming exhibition features a variety of already established as well as up-and-coming artists whose mediums are very different, but whose work is complementary in terms of aesthetic or concept.
Young Collectors is on from 5 September until 3 October at the Fried Contemporary Art Gallery (1146 Justice Mahomed Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria).