CityLife Arts

A weekend of collecting and enjoying art while at home

By Edward Tsumele

Seasoned art collectors, first time collectors and even mere art enthusiasts, have every reason to rejoice this weekend because they will be able to visit the RMB Turbine Art Fair (RMB TAF) and view a feast of art from the comfort of their homes.

The fair which opened to the public on Friday morning, August 28, can be enjoyed and viewed from the comfort of one’s home because this year, this popular annual feast of art, which gives art collectors and  art enthusiasts an opportunity to view and buy beautiful art objects and listen to illuminating art talks from experts has gone virtual.  This bold move by the organisers was necessitated by the outbreak of Covid 19 that requires that people exercise social distancing as they carry on with their normal lives.

Because of safety concerns a large number of people are not permitted to assemble at one place at the same time. However, instead of either postponing or cancelling the fair altogether, the art fair organisers decided to go the virtual way instead, allowing collectors to tour different exhibitors, such as art galleries and art talk hosts that are part of this year’s art feast. The RMB Turbine Art Fair is therefore giving art visitors a different virtual experience of art from their home locations this year.

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For those who perhaps doubt the experience of viewing and buying art the virtual way, this method is increasingly being used by many art events such as auction houses and other fairs, and in fact they have become increasingly popular as new ways of buying art instead of physically visiting a fair during the uncertain times of Covid -19 with all its discomfort and fear contracting the coroinavirus. This new normal of buying art seems to be the most viable and safest way of enjoying the experience of touring an art fair and possibly acquiring fine art objects to build one’s collection during the times of a global health crisis.

The RMB Turbine Art Fair taking place online, from 27th August until the 2nd September 2020, is billed as  where visionaries meet and showcase established and new talent in the rich cultural and creative landscape of Africa.

 RMB TAF is a unique South African Art fair that brings together exhibitors from around the SADC region to present, sell and celebrate works. The fair is the epicentre of emerging art in South Africa and presents a space for the showcasing of established and new talent in an environment that is immersive, accessible and inclusive.

And touring the fair virtually is easier than one would think. Exhibitors  have a dedicated virtual viewing room where they will display their artwork with interactive messaging and behind the scenes content, from video to voice clips and informative text allowing visitors to learn far more about the work of artists or the work they like or want to purchase.  That is probably the beauty of the virtual world as more information is given about the art work and the artists than is possible in visiting a fair in the physical.   

Mmarthouse Tshepiso Seleke

RMB TAF has always prided itself in offering an incredible selection of very affordable art (and a few collectors items) which range from abstract to hyperrealism, pretty art to art addressing difficult issues; portraits to landscapes, sculptures made from bronze, resin, clay, textile and paper, as well as digital art . All the art objects are priced at not more than R49 000, and this is probably the best place for emerging collectors with limited disposable income to shop for good works of art at a reasonable cost. There is something for everyone no matter his or her tastes.

“The public has embraced the ethos of RMB TAF and over the years have built a long-standing, trusted relationship with the fair, which provides a safe and curated space in which to buy art. We believe that there is no better time than right now for collectors to actively support artists and galleries” say Fair Founder, Glynis Hyslop.

Vistors to RMBTAF are encourged to view the series of specially curated projects from across South Africa under various banners and themes.  These special projects allow guest curators to source unique and exciting work.  To view the full special project programme:

A highlight of RMB TAF is the talks and walkabout programme, sponsored by RMB Private Bank. We have created a diverse and engaging programme for visitors to enjoy and experience and is free of charge. Through an online platform Webinar Jam, participants will be able to all of the presenters and can interact with them via the typed chat function.

All of the talks and walkabouts will be recorded so they can be watched at any time afterwards.   We encourage as many people to join us this year to come and learn, take part in the conversations and support the amazing talent we have in Southern Africa.  For the full line up of walkabouts and talks as well as pre-registration:

“As the proud headline sponsor of RMB TAF we are able to co-create a powerful platform to showcase artistic talent, which is needed now more than ever. The virtual fair will give galleries and artists access to a broader and more diverse audience, while appealing to both existing and new collectors,” says Chief Marketing Officer at RMB, Alison Badenhorst. “RMB TAF creates an authentically African art experience brought to life for the first time in a virtual digital format. Unlocking and supporting diverse young African talent, demonstrates RMB’s vision to positively transform lives through partnering the Creative Economy.” To register for the viewing rooms:
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