Why this competition is important to collectors | Sasol New Signatures

Why this competition is important to collectors

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The drawcard for emerging artists to enter the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition is an easy one – the winner receives R100 000 and a solo exhibition at next year’s event – but the competition is also one that collectors should keep on their radar. As the longest running art competition in the country - nearly three decades - it has been a platform for promoting emerging local artists to the art-loving public at large.

Acknowledging the wealth of artistic talent that we have in this country is at the very heart of this competition and the 100 artworks that have been shortlisted for 2016 showcase ingenuity and artistic genius at its best. As every true collector knows, art is no longer art as we traditionally know it. This year, more than ever before, there has been a move away from traditional mediums, such as painting and drawing, with artists revealing an array of art; this year’s competition saw sculpture, installation and even digital and multimedia submissions. Even though the medium might have been slightly different, an exciting aspect is how many artists opened up about the emotional journey they had or mapped their personal issues while creating their art. These emotions, which extended much further than the artists’ studios, are almost tangible to the viewer.   

“Collectors should keep in mind that the emotional connection that you have with a piece of art is far more important than the potential investment value,” explained Cecile Loedolff, Sasol Art Curator and a member of  Sasol New Signatures final judging panel.  Cecile reiterated that you should love a piece of art first, before you even think about the investment value. “These emerging artists are the cream of the crop from around South Africa. I always love the innovative ideas and creativity that emerging artists bring with them and the artists in this year’s competition really challenged the medium and the subject matter; it was extremely satisfying for me,” she added.

Likewise, Cecile believes that the cross section of emerging artists this year has been a great asset to the competition; these different stages in life give us varying viewpoints and challenge us, as art lovers, to look at things differently. “The best part about emerging artists is that they’re always pushing the boundaries; it was amazing to see what this year’s artists have come up with.” Cecile’s advice for collectors? “If you like a piece of art and have ‘chemistry’ with it and it challenges you in some way, then that is the art that you should be buying,” she concluded.