With recent high sales at international auctions, a boom in the number of gallery spaces in the region, and an influx of talented graduates in the creative industries, some people have claimed that a fine art renaissance is under way in South Africa.
The South African art scene has struggled for decades with a lack of institutional and financial backing. As a result, there have been very few fine artists of note recognised on the global art scene. William Kentridge is the only South African artist whose name appears next to several zeros at auction houses in New York and London. While prices at auction are still relatively low, a few well-known collectors have been spotted in galleries across the country, and independent buyers have supported recent galleries showcasing South African art at some of the world’s biggest galleries including the Tate Modern.