The 2023 edition provides a moment to reflect on the fair’s impact in bringing the visual arts community under one roof and creating a platform for the advancement of the sector. By bringing together a diverse group of exhibitors, including prominent galleries from around the globe, Investec Cape Town Art Fair has also provided an opportunity over the years to showcase Cape Town, the city’s people and their creative achievements.
Laura Vincenti, Investec Cape Town Art Fair director, says, “Investec Cape Town Art Fair continues to evolve and grow with those who support it. Together with this extraordinary visual arts community, we have created a platform for the advancement of all. Our progress has not been confined to the visual arts sector, because we have had a positive impact in all areas related to our practice. Investec Cape Town Art Fair welcomes you."
Cape Town welcomes you. Together we will reflect on an amazing decade and plan the decade ahead.
The art fair started in 2013 as a small local fair, nurturing the need to create a platform to showcase local artists. The incredible success of what has been called ‘African art’ in the world has driven the attention of international galleries, collectors and investors towards the African continent and particularly towards Cape Town.
The first big achievement was in 2016 to find a home for the fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and get the owner Fiera Milano to invest money in a completely new infrastructure, new walls, new lights, and a new look and feel.
According to Vincenti, “throughout 2016 and 2017, we worked hard to consolidate our outreach, stepping up and set Cape Town as a cultural destination and ‘the place to be’ in February.”
As a result of hard work and determination, Investec became the title sponsor of the Cape Town Art Fair, which over the years has become commonly known as the Investec Cape Town Art Fair.
Vincenti says the reason for Investec's involvement is that the company "has always promoted art investment, but also truly believes that art has a value beyond wealth. It is a human investment that breaks down barriers and unites people through the universal language of creativity.”
Since 2017, Investec Cape Town Art Fair has acted as a vehicle to provide, promote and facilitate sustainable interaction between local and international artists, curators, collectors and galleries by providing a platform to showcase unique works by artists and galleries located in South Africa, on the continent and in the world and exposing them to new local and international audiences and buyers.
Vincenti notes, “This is important for creating a healthy economic and diversified ecosystem. The participation of our local galleries in international art fairs and the increasing number of shows all around the world of South African artists have brought major attention to our art scene. The synergy between the fair and the local Institutions has added a major value to this ongoing process.”
The greatest achievement of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair over the last decade has been to create a truly international art platform where artists from around the world have the chance to show their works on the continent and engage in a global conversation about humanity through a non-geographical lens.
“Investec is deemed the perfect partner to support the continued growth of art from the continent, including lesser-known emerging artists. They have always played a big role in the education and promotion of the arts in South Africa through specific projects with communities and children. Investec has promoted South African artists abroad and with their project on legacy even more,” says Vincenti proudly.
'Art is a legacy that carries our unique cultures, stories and history into the future' – Laura Vincenti
Speaking of the theme, Vincenti comments: “We thought it was the right time to reflect on Time! Big anniversaries give you the chance or excuse to reflect on time, on the evolution of ideas, projects and emotions.”
According to Natasha Becker and Dr Mariella Franzoni, curators of the Tomorrows /Today section at the 2023 Investec Cape Town Art Fair, “time is not only relative but also inherently relational. We make time for the other and time is the best gift you can give to your beloved ones. The sphere of emotions and affections is inextricably linked to our experience of time; they shape our interpretation of the past and the way we imagine the future."
As this year’s art fair explores the notion of time - which includes the ever-important concept of change - and as we enter this new era of the metaverse, Vincenti says that "technology has changed the structure of how art is viewed and collected as it has expanded the field of how images are viewed. The reason is that the rich experience that allows an audience to see, hear and experience messages more clearly or elementary than conjured by static imagery is a feat of high-resolution technology that makes video art significant.
"Augmented reality (AR) is becoming a key attraction to new forms of contemporary exhibitions and curation. NFTs are becoming the new way, or another way, of dealing, processing and collecting art. We are facing a big revolution in how we perceive and look at art."
Over the years, art fairs have had to evolve to keep them fresh and exciting. From a curatorial point of view, every fair is always unique and new, even if the sections are the same as in previous years.
“We always feel we need more space to interact, connect and discuss or just sit and rest from the overwhelming buzz. We’ll have a sitting area, walkabout meeting point with a speakers’ corner, to give an extra opportunity for people to interact in a rather informal setting,” adds Vincenti.
Added to the 2023 programme is a new invite-only event called Art Speed Dating which is a unique networking opportunity that allows professionals in the art sector to establish connections in a fast-paced and highly interactive format! Organised in collaboration with The Art Momentum, participants from different areas of specialisation including the visual arts, media, cultural heritage and institutions, and other creative professions, will engage with one another across disciplines, to exchange ideas and, hopefully, initiate new cross-cultural projects.
Tickets can be purchased via the Webtickets link on www.investeccapetownartfair.co.za.For more information, visit www.investeccapetownartfair.co.za or follow Investec Cape Town Art Fair on Twitter, Instagram Instagram and Facebook. Hashtag #ICTAF