BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
NATIONAL Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) executive director Raphael Chikukwa has challenged banks to join the world of art as a collectable investment for the growth of the nation’s art ecosystem.
Chikukwa told NewsDay Life & Style on the sidelines of the launch of the Friends of the Zimbabwe Pavilion at NGZ on Monday that it would make sense to have more art collectors locally.
“It is good to have our art collected outside the country, but it also makes sense to have local collectors do something good for the next generation too. Heads of corporates should ask themselves why foreign heads of corporates collect our art,” he said.
“For years banks across Europe, Asia and America have invested in art and we should take a leaf as Africa. Standard Bank in South Africa has a gallery plus a collection, FNB bank, ABSA and other banks are also investing in art and there is a need for our local banks to rethink art as a collectable investment.”
Chikukwa said NGZ was willing to work with interested corporates describing art as a more selling collectable whose value did not depreciate.
“We need to challenge our local corporates and take them to the Johannesburg Art Fair, Cape Town Art Fair before we take them to Art Fairs in Europe. Their interaction with other banks and corporates that are investing in art will change their mindset if we can work towards that,” he said.
“They (banks) need to collect their own art before they are collected by outsiders. Potential artists can grow to be famous artists. The gallery is willing to open an art appreciation programme. This will grow our own art ecosystem.”
Chikukwa said investing in art was as good as investing in the nation’s future as art appreciated in value.
“Art is not like a car. When you buy a brand new car, the moment you drive it out of the garage it starts losing value.
“Let us look at art as collectables that have value and learn from big art auction houses and see how much art is selling compared to other collectables,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Pavilion is set to participate for the sixth time at the 59th edition of the International Art Exhibition scheduled for April to November 2022 in Venice Biennale, Italy.
Zimbabwe will be represented by Terrence Musekiwa, Donald Muchatuta, Kreshia Mkwazhi and Wallen Mapondera.
NGZ board of trustees’ chairperson Solomon Guramatunhu said the Venice Biennale exhibition was an opportunity for corporates to market their brands globally.
“Herein lies the opportunity for corporations and patrons to seize a marketing and publicity coup to have your brand presented as a benefactor of Africa’s most consistent exhibitor at the premiere event in the global art world,” he said. “Government supported the Pavilion of Zimbabwe from inception in 2011, now, with the maturity of the platform, the generous support of businesses and institutions will go a long way in growing brands together for the good of our art ecosystem and the strengthening of public and private partnerships across the board.”
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