Theme: Future Thinking

When Latitudes Art Fair launched last year within Joburg Art Week, it was the fresh new kid on the block wanting to make art more inclusive and accessible. It shook up the traditional art-fair environment by not just having galleries present, but allowing independent artists to exhibit, too. Latitudes has taken this vanguard attitude onto the Web and applied it to the first comprehensive online marketplace for art from Africa, featuring artists from the continent and the diaspora.

“Art from Africa has really gained a lot of international interest over the last 10 years,” says co-founder and art curator Lucy MacGarry, referring to fairs focused on art from the continent popping up in major global cities, and pointing to the success of Cape Town and Johannesburg’s own art fairs. By creating an online platform, Latitudes is giving people the opportunity to view and purchase African art, no matter where in the world they reside. “Artists who haven’t had access to market are, all of a sudden, interacting with buyers,” says MacGarry, excited about what this could mean for lesser-known names on the scene. “We’ve also had artists on our site being approached for representation by galleries.”

MacGarry believes this revolutionary marketplace will level the playing field as it grants equal visibility to galleries, independent artists, non-profit platforms, curators and studios. “We want it to be a space for the entire ecosystem,” she says.

With curated highlights published on the site every week, and a rigorous bi-monthly process to select works from applications received, Latitudes is ensuring that high-quality art from the continent has a home online, and an audience worldwide.

100 Beautiful Things is presented by the V&A Waterfront in celebration of South Africa’s creativity, compassion, ingenuity and resilience. Every week we will be showcasing five amazingly beautiful creative things that make us proud. It is curated in partnership with Platform Creative.