Online art fair Latitudes embraced by collectors

By Edward Tsumele

If there was any doubt about the viability of selling art online due to the current pandemic affecting the art market, that doubt has been removed by the impressive performance of Latitudes Art Fair.

The new kid on the competitive art fair scene, which launched last year in Johannesburg as a physical onsite space before the trading conditions were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, reports positive response to its online version this year.

Launched on July 15 as a virtual art fair that allows art collectors from throughout the world, to buy art online, the organisers told CityLife Arts yesterday that art collectors are responding positively to the art on offer, with some individual artists doing so well, that one artist is even sold out.

Instead of having a limited period online sale of art, Latitudes is this year offering an inclusive ongoing virtual art fair  which sees works from  individual artists, galleries and Non Profit Organisations being offered for sale on its platform throughout the year. Latitudes Art Fair offers for sale contemporary art from the African continent, and goes by its tagline Making art from Africa accessible to the world. The art fair is an all-women-owned and managed art fair registered in South Africalast year.

“Latitudes Online launched on 15 July, and in less than one month it has established itself as the online destination to explore and buy contemporary art from Africa.

With an aim to revolutionise the way art is bought and sold online, Latitudes takes a radical approach of creating a platform where galleries, not-for-profit organisations, curators and independent artists can sell their art side-by-side, all-year round.

The response to the platform has far exceeded our expectations, with collectors from around the world purchasing art off the site.

We are particularly excited to announce that emerging independent artist, Cinthia Binene Sifa, has sold out her first body of work listed on the site,” the organisers said in a statement yesterday.

Cinthia Binene Sifa Karibu welcome 2020 Acrylic paint charcoal, oil paint with collage-on unstretched canvas

“The experience of selling my work directly on Latitudes has been exciting and thrilling, especially as this is my first opportunity to sell via an online platform,” says Sifa. “Latitudes has opened up a new market for me, and compared to past exhibitions I have been involved in, it has pushed me further and made my work much stronger during the lockdown.”

Sifa is a visual artist born in DRC Congo Lubumbashi and currently living in Johannesburg. She is completing her third year at the Artist Proof Studio. Sifa’s artistic expressions are a series of ongoing explorations of the perceptions and misconceptions of beauty. She creates interior spaces using different mediums of acrylic paint, ink and collage from personal photographs and magazines. The moments created within the interior spaces are dialogues between standards and stereotypes, and those that challenge them.

Cinthia Binene Sifa, Fertile roots 2020 Acrylic paint charcoal with collage on fabriano-paper

The artist uses feminine objects and associations as entities in these spaces, representing thoughts, perceptions and emotions. These spaces allow for the interrogation of the perceptions as much as an embrace of the African woman.

“As a platform dedicated to promoting art from Africa, we are delighted to have been able to create a tangible commercial opportunity for an emerging artist such as Sifa, and are motivated to continue to promote both emerging and established artists across the continent,” the organisers added.

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