Lady Skol­lie sets art world alight

CityPress - - News - GARRETH VAN NIEK­ERK garreth.van­niek­erk@city­press.co.za

Can’t bear your blank walls, but can’t af­ford art? Are those in­tim­i­dat­ing gallery as­sis­tants freak­ing you out? Well, times have changed, and you can now buy orig­i­nal con­tem­po­rary art on lay-by – thanks to pi­o­neer­ing South African artist Laura Wind­vo­gel, aka Lady Skol­lie.

The artist this week posted her full cat­a­logue of works on­line, invit­ing her friends and fol­low­ers to pur­chase them in instalments of what­ever they could af­ford, ef­fec­tively cut­ting out the mid­dle­man.

“I’m the El­ler­ines of the Art World, babez!” Skol­lie said on Face­book.

She told City Press this week that more than a quar­ter of the works in the cat­a­logue had been sold, and in­ter­est was growing steadily.

“I don’t know why peo­ple don’t do it more,” she said from her stu­dio in Joburg. “I think it’s con­nected to the whole pre­ten­tious­ness of art. I used to work in a gallery and I would see that some peo­ple can just walk in and drop R100 000. For most peo­ple, this is the image in most peo­ple’s minds when they think about col­lect­ing art. But often that’s what holds sales back, and if you’re de­pend­ing on art for a liv­ing, like I am, it makes sense to do this even­tu­ally.” Skol­lie says so­cial me­dia is dis­rupt­ing the tra­di­tion­ally ex­clu­sive art sys­tem. Could her model change the art mar­ket? “Maybe, but I think the real threat to the gallery sys­tem is how out of touch they are. There is a whole au­di­ence that needs to be opened up to th­ese in­sti­tu­tion­ally white spa­ces, and part of that is to go straight to the artists.” It’s a sim­ple mat­ter of eco­nom­ics, she says. “If peo­ple can spend R1 700 on a new pair of Nike Air Jor­dans, then they can, and should, also spend that on art.”

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