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Daniel Malan

Young Collectors: Daniel Malan | Infinite Hotdogs and Finding Value

Daniel Malan


Daniel Malan is an art student majoring in printmaking at UCT’s Michaelis. The graduate work produced at the school is also his secret source of affordable acquisitions which he has built up into a collection displayed throughout his airy Sea Point apartment. Daniel comes from a family of artists and amidst works by art school friends you’ll find photographs by his father and sketches and paintings by his brother. Daniel’s collection – which includes signed posters by graphic designer Ben Johnson for infamous Cape Town club, EVOL; a yonic ceramic dish by Lady Skollie; and works by Raees Saiet and Kurt Pio – is a reminder of the wealth of talented young artists we have access to in South Africa.


Our interview with Daniel forms part of a series through which we’re looking into the homes and studios of young collectors to find inspiration as well as practical advice for starting an art collection. His personal tip? Hit the grad shows!


What was the first piece you ever owned?


I made a point of sticking the invoice to the back of a Tracy Payne I bought in 2010, this was probably the first of a few times I’ve spent money on art. Most art in my life was created by either myself, my brother or my friends and was acquired by trade or as a gift.


For you, is collecting about what makes you happy, or about a good investment?


Having art on my walls improves my mood, it serves as a reminder of whom and what I value in this world (that said it’s comforting to know that if money is spent it’s not wasted and hopefully the works at least retain their value).


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson


How would you describe your taste? Is there anything in particular you look for?


There is a difference between what I appreciate in the art world and what I end up being able to display in my own home. I suppose it’s a question of ethics, aesthetics, practicalities and budget. There is so much out there, what you end up with is of course about personal preference but is almost down to luck.


Do you have a favourite piece, and can you tell us about it?


A series of photographs of me found their way into Howe Street Studios. At the time Kurt Pio was based there. I’m not sure how they got into his hands but he transformed them into a series of paintings. I first saw a portrait of myself in a magazine and about a year later was brave enough to ask if he would sell it. I struggled with it at first, waking up to a larger than life portrait of myself across from me. Now that I’ve gotten used to that, I will never part with it.


Kurt Pio

Kurt Pio


Can you please let us know how Mitchell Gilbert Messina’s ‘Infinite Hotdog with fries’ came to be yours?


Mitchell’s Infinite Hotdog with fries was part of his grad show. There was no way to buy any of his work other than using a vending machine and attempting to fish out the sponge (a task I had never ever managed until that day). It took multiple attempts, I used at least ten two rand coins and was borrowing money from ex-girlfriend’s parents before I managed to grab hold of his work. It brings a smile to the face of everyone who comes into my home.


Mitchell Gilbert Messina Mitchell Gilbert Messina

Infinite Hotdog with fries by Mitchell Gilbert Messina


What makes something collectible?


Its value to you. If it is able to resonate a message to you then treasure it (I’ve framed pages of old magazines). If it resonates with a larger audience it potentially has a far greater value.


What are you currently coveting?


This list could be endless. I’ll name a few. A Black Label advertisement I need to pry out of the corner of a bar, a series of Peter Saville dishcloths, really cheap Obey offset prints on Shepard Fairey’s website, a specific Cameron Platter, an affordable David Hockney if they exist, Nico Krinjo’s book, a photograph from a recent guest. This list is endless.


Daniel Malan

Drawings by Hayden Malan


Who are the up-and-coming local artists you have your eye on? Who is making exciting things?


A lot of the art I have bought in the past has come from the Michaelis Graduate Exhibition that takes places every December. Sneak in early to decide what you want, it’s always affordable. I always have my favourites but with fifty plus students graduating each year there is bound to be something for everyone.


Do you have any advice for someone looking to start their own collection?


Surrounding yourself with art is a fantastic idea. You make the rules, it can be a very affordable exercise.



Feeling inspired? Strauss Online’s online-only sale is a great place to start. The sale is up currently and runs until 8pm on the 20th of April. Expect to find artworks by names like Kudzanai Chiurai, Walter Battis, William Kentridge, David Goldblatt and Andy Warhol amongst many others.


Feeling lucky? Enter our Instagram competition where you could win R10 000 to start your own collection with Strauss Online!!


Daniel Malan

L-R: Dada Khanyisa (poster); Brett Murray ‘Big Boy’ Light

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Hayden Malan

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Lucienne Bestall ‘A Story of Art’

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Tracy Payne ‘Rebirth’

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L-R: Alix Hamilton ‘Collected Celebrity’; Type, unsigned, Night of 1000 Drawings

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Lady Skollie/Laura Windvogel ‘Eat Me Out’ Bowl

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Jo O’Connor ‘Perishable’

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Tess Metcalf

Daniel Malan

Chiara Paton (Tupac stitching)

Daniel Malan

Raees Saiet

Daniel Malan


Between 10 and 5