What a pleasure it was attending the Cape Town Art Fair on the 26th February – 1st March; situated at the Avenue, V&A Waterfront. Not only was I having one of my guilty pleasures fulfilled – looking at art, I was doing it in a binge worthy fashion. In essence, it felt like having a back tickle, head massage and all the while experiencing spectacular images playing in front of my eyes.
The range of work was impressive. There were paintings, displays of photography, graphic sculptor work, video installations, performance art and plenty of mixed media to feast one’s eyes on. In one of Cape Town’s fast growing affairs artists included both local and international talent. The set up established two sites for the event, an exhibition inside the Avenue, and an exhibition outside in the Marquee. The varying locations included a yin-yang atmosphere, simultaneously creating a means for a break and fresh air from one establishment to the next, acting like a cleansing tool to the eyes, as ginger is to the palate. However, it was not to everyone’s liking, as some attendees found one location superior to the other, while others a source of confusion, missing the Marquee altogether.
On my first day at the fair, I bumped into fellow art enthusiasts, who declared that they were most “definitely coming back for the rest of the weekend”. This is a point I must agree with! If I could offer any advice for potential attendees for next year, it would be to experience the world of the Fair in a leisurely manner. There was so much to see that one day of binging can be rather overwhelming to the senses! Although spoken from a purely biased art-loving stance, there are those, much like my partner in crime for the night, who might find the event a somewhat tiresome and confuddling experience. To this, I say there is plenty of wine on offer to ease such distress.
An added bonus to the affair was the complimentary talks and debates conducted on each day. One such conversationalist included Art Historian and Guest Curator, RoseLee Goldberg, whom I was lucky enough to talk with. Something to look forward too is her artistic participation in next year’s event.
Overall, the Cape Town Art Fair, with the backdrop of the majestic Table Mountain, is a worthy spectacle to behold. With the help of some good company, wine and a keen attitude for art, the fair is a ‘must-see’ event. The artworks emit emotion, confrontation, reflexivity and questionability and the talent is outstanding.