South Africa: Art. Online. Three African Artists to Follow - Thabang Lehobye - Phila Hillie - Mookho Ntho

analysis

As the art world came perilously close to shutting down earlier this year, young and emerging artists turned to the digital world to display their work. And attract potential buyers.

For years, the global art market has been confined to brick-and-mortar spaces - art galleries and fairs - often catering to an elite of wealthy buyers and consumers, negotiating sales through auctions and intermediaries.

Last year, Art Basel and UBS published a report authored by Dr Clare McAndrew, founder of Art Economics, which found that in 2019, sales in the international art market exceeded $64-billion (down from $67-billion in 2018).

Then, in March 2020, everything began grinding rapidly to a halt as the world went into lockdown.

Although galleries and museums tried switching to online and virtual exhibitions to make up for the losses suffered through postponing or cancelling physical events, fairs and shows, the effort was slow to get off the ground. Back in April, The Art Newspaper estimated that "galleries worldwide [were facing a] 70% income crash due to coronavirus".

Yet, as Covid-19 shut down creative industries, many artists, performers and musicians turned to social media and the digital world to play, dance, act, sing or present their...

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