South African and British artists join forces in London



2015-06-26 11:39:34

South African and British artists join forces in London

Artists including Anthony Gormley, Gavin Turk, Derborah Bell and Peter Hugo Charity hope to raise high bids at Sotheby's charity sale

British and South African artists are donating their work to a high-profile charity auction at Sotheby's, London on September 21.

South African artists including Deborah Bell, Pieter Hugo and David Goldblatt - who are gaining increasing status on the international stage - have donated their work to the auction.

They were reportedly persuaded by South African artist Beezy Bailey, along with with Tara and Jessica Getty, members of the billionaire oil family who live in South Africa.

British artists Antony Gormley, Gavin Turk and Jonathan Yeo will also have pieces in the auction. Estimates range from 2,500 to 150,000.

Bob Gosani - who was one of the few working black photographers under apartheid - has contributed a picture of Nelson Mandela as a young man. It shows Mandela boxing on a Johannesburg roof-top in 1957.

Proceeds from the sales will be donated to programmes for education and poverty alleviation - such as the Nkomo Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal, where 17% of students under the age of 13 have been orphaned by HIV or Aids.

Bailey - who is famous for the work of his artistic alter-ego, the self-taught painter and black domestic worker Joyce Ntobe - is a co-founder of Art for Africa, the project behind the auction.

It is hoped that moving the auction to London and including the work of British artists will raise higher bids. Previous Art for Africa auctions held in Johannesburg saw many artworks sell for below their going rate.

A Marlene Dumas painting, for example, sold for about a third of its market value.

"In our African culture," says Bailey, "There is a word, ubuntu, which means concern and kindness to others."

"If the auction goes according to plan, patrons of the arts will demonstrate plenty of the spirit of ubuntu in their bids," he said.

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