Absa Art and Aspire Art Auctions have come together in the fight against COVID-19to virtually auction 49 pieces of art from 25 talented African artists to bidders. The funds raised will be shared by the 25 artists taking part and will also go toward supporting the broader arts industry. The auction is open to the public, with pieces starting from R2 500 up to R280 000.
“Many artists have been left without a livelihood due to the temporary closing of art galleries, as well as limited channels to promote their craft. All proceeds raised through the auction will be allocated to support the arts industry and the artists themselves,” says Dr Paul Bayliss, Senior Specialist Curator, Absa Gallery.
Absa’s first online auction only serves to further cement the Group as a digital trailblazer in the arts space. “While the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed how we consume art – attending exhibition openings or visiting art galleries – it should not affect our experience of art. We want to make art more accessible to everyone, and to continue to support the artist themselves. That’s why we’ve started the Absa Art Hot Spot, a digital initiative where we livestream virtual openings of the art exhibitions in our gallery. We’ve also collaborated with well-known local artists to bring you art masterclasses and personal discussions with previous Absa L’Atelier winning artists. In short, you can now attend a prestigious art event from the comfort of your chair,” says Dr Bayliss.
One can also experience the previous Absa Gallery art exhibitions as 3D Tours here.
“Absa has always supported the visual arts and nurtured young artistic talent across the continent through our art sponsorships, such as the Absa L’Atelier art competition for the past 34 years – Africa’s first digital art competition, and the Absa Gallery. More than simply preserving the continent’s art legacy, we remain committed to shining the spotlight on works of young African artists to help them to continue to bring their Africanacity to life,” he says.
Online bidding for the Absa Art Hot Spot Auction opened on Monday, 29 June at 09:00, with the auction going live on Thursday, 9 July at 19:00. Bidders can register and participate in the auction via livestream at auctions.aspireart.net. The art catalogue, containing details such as artwork title, lot number and price estimate, is available to view here.
Previous Absa L’Atelier winners, Nkensani Rihlampfu (2019 Absa L’Atelier Ambassador), Phoka Nyokong (2019 Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto winner), Mongezi Ncaphayi (2013 Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto winner) and Marco Cianfanelli (2002 Absa L’Atelier winner), are listed among the artists, as well as Asanda Kupa, Ramarutha Makoba, Karla Nixon, Shenaz Mahomed, and Patrick Mautloa.