Cape Town has cemented its place as a worthy participant in the international art scene, with a range of renowned art fairs, monthly events, public art and street art that rivals any of the world’s larger cities for innovation and inspiration.
At the same time, innovative artists, collectors and property developers are ensuring Cape Town’s position as a top global art destination.
In Cape Town art doesn’t just happen in galleries, but out on the streets too, where it has become part of the fabric of a city where officials use art to bring people together. Art critic Ivor Powell says there is “a dynamism, commitment and identity in the arts such as we have not seen since the dawn of the South African democracy (in 1994)”.
Ashraf Jamal, cultural analyst and author of Art South Africa, references an 1899 painting by British artist James Ford entitled Holiday time in Cape Town in the Twentieth Century, to sum up the art scene in Cape Town: “At the glossy foot of Table Mountain we see a crazy mix of European architecture from Gothic to Neoclassical to the weird Venturi postmodern spin-offs we would become accustomed to, in which anything and everything came together to create a frenzied tentacular aesthetic. That’s Cape Town! A mix, a mashup, a reverb. Part colonial, part now, caught in a time warp that allows for nostalgia, dreams – even an art revolution.”