How best to navigate the Cape Town Art Fair

Tymon Smith | 2017-02-05 00:00:00.0
A Reversed Retrogress: Scene 1 by Mary Sibande is seen on display as part of the exhibition
Photograph by: ANDREW HEAVENS/REUTERS

With more than 80-galleries participating and a host of interesting talks on offer, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the visual feast that is the Cape Town Art Fair. Follow these tips to get the most out of your visit

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1) RESEARCH

This year's art fair has more than 80 galleries participating, so start your tour by visiting those exhibiting works by artists you like. After that enjoy the experience of discovering new works in spaces off the beaten track.

The programme of talks, at capetownartfair.co.za, offers a chance to keep track of debates. This year's programme is curated by former Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs and Karen Milbourne, curator of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. Access is free once you've purchased your entry ticket to the fair.

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2) TAKE YOUR TIME

There's no way to fully appreciate the fair in a short pop-in and pop-out. Take a pass through and give yourself time to go back and take another look. Even better, take a tour with a knowledgeable guide who'll give you the highlights, and then go and have a drink, a chat and get a closer look. It's a few hours at least, a full day at best and a full weekend for those who want to make the most of it.

3) BUY

Not everyone has the money to move from art lover to art collector, but if you are in the market then think carefully, talk to the gallerists and start by purchasing something you like rather than something you think might be valuable one day.

4) MAKE FRIENDS

If you want to be kept up to date about what's going on in the art world and investment opportunities in the art market, chat to specialists and gallerists and get on mailing lists.

The Cape Town Art Fair is at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 17 to 19. Visit capetownartfair.co.za for more information.

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