My pick of the Bag Factory Auction
The Bag Factory 25th anniversary auction is a super exciting prospect as it only presents contemporary art lots and thus a great opportunity to see how this market is growing, who is collectable within it and what these kinds of works can fetch. Although as a fundraising initiative you can never be sure whether people are bidding due to benevolence or genuine interest. What I particularly like about auctions are the names that pop up; artists who have slipped off the radar despite having made an impact. It is in the auction setting that they make their comeback. Belinda Blignaut is one such artist; she was hot in the '90s and her wry pottery work in this auction is right on the money now with everyone getting into ceramic feminist art.
The Bag Factory, which has been an artist-centric institution providing spaces for artists to make art, is (has been) expanding its commercial aspects, so that it is less reliant on funding, according to the director Sara Hallett, whom I chatted to recently. They are able to do this because contemporary art has value and is fast becoming an asset class in this country. For this reason the Bag Factory participate in all the art fairs and run an extensive exhibition programme. Sales are as important to them as they are to any commercial gallery, though due to their location, in Fordsburg, buyers tend to be hardcore art supporters. Not just people out on the town for the night. I expect that's who will turn up on the night of the auction too. What kind of art do the hardcore art lovers want?
I regard myself as one; this is what I would be bidding on if my numbers came up in last week's Lotto:
Belinda Blignaut: When I Wake up with my Make Up (2016)