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The HL Team's Art Favourites

Our annual Art Issue will be out soon, with all that's HERE/NOW in contemporary art – so it's a good time to discover the HL team's personal art favourites.

Toa Heftiba/Unsplash, Inge Prins, Supplied, Robyn Alexander, Christopher Stach for Kasmin Gallery/Pollock-Krasner Foundation

Art Favourites | House and Leisure

Who are your art favourites? What's that one piece of art in your own home that you still look at in awe or affection, many years after you acquired it? And what about your best art museum? If you could have any piece of art on the planet, what would it be?

The annual Art Issue is when the House and Leisure team gets to take you along with us as we explore homes owned by artists and art lovers, as well as cover some of the latest developments in the art world. In short, the Art Issue presents a summary of what we think is HERE/NOW in contemporary art.

This year, we discovered an art-filled farmhouse in Limpopo, persuaded artist and curator Karel Nel to show us around his unique home in Johannesburg and even managed to get star photographer Trevor Stuurman to pause for long enough to pose for a portrait and reveal his abode to us. 

We also talked to iconic South African artist William Kentridge on the eve of the opening of his major retrospective shows at Zeitz MOCAA and Norval Foundation and found out more about the country’s latest art museum – the remarkable Javett-UP at the University of Pretoria. 

With all this art under discussion as we brainstormed, commissioned and put together the issue, we decided it would be a good idea to find out more about what we all like best about art – including, of course, what we think our art favourites add to our homes.

The HL team's art favourites

Chrizanda Botha, Decor Editor

Who is your favourite artist, and why?

Noooo, too hard to say. Sorry! 

If you could pick any artwork in the world to have in your home, what would that be?

Like, if I win the lotto? I’ll probably go on a world tour to hunt down an original Frida Kahlo or a Dalí. Or I’ll get myself a big beautiful carefree, leafy garden with a pond and have a selection of sculptures like a big Angus Taylor for Alex, my son, to play on, and a bright yellow Edoardo Villa!  

What do you think art adds to a home or interior?

Depends on the art. It could add colour, texture, shape – it could even add humour. Often art is a point of conversation, and if it does that, you chose right because then you’ve made it just as much part of your interior as the sofa you sit on. 

What are your current art favourites in your own home, and why? 

I bought a Samuel Allerton bronze, a large warrior angel that is on a ladder, years ago. Back then I thought it was quite humorous and silly actually; now, I find it very calming and when I look at it I know everything will be alright. Probably because it’s been with me for so long. 

What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone who wanted to bring art into their own space more, or start a small collection?

Never buy art for a specific space, but only because you really like the piece. If you love it, it will always find a good spot in your house. You’ll be able to move it around in the house, and, should you move it will easily find a new space in the new house.

ALSO READ: 8 Tips on Framing Your Artwork Creatively

Karen Tennent, Managing and Copy Editor

Who is your favourite artist, and why?

I find it so difficult to name a single favourite artist, because I love different artists for different reasons.

I love Pablo Picasso for introducing me to the beauty of Cubism and abstraction when studying art history in high school.

I love Cecil Skotnes for conjuring up memories of my days spent at Rhodes University, where his works adorn the Settler's Monument walls.

I love Wim Botha for creating the first exhibition by a prominent South African artist that I ever visited.

I love Gustav Klimt for his ethereal and otherworldly depictions of women.

I love Madoda Fani for his traditional yet contemporary vessels that reflect my Eastern Cape roots.

If you could pick any artwork in the world to have in your home, what would that be?

I would love Leonardo Da Vinci's 15th-century 'Arial Screw' sketch, complete with his handwritten notes, to remind me of the power of imagination and that it's always possible to fly.

What do you think art adds to a home or interior?

Art is a wonderful reflection of your tastes and adds a personal element to your space. 

What are your current art favourites in your own home, and why? 

When I first began working in publishing, my editor gifted me with an illustration by Karl Lagerfeld of his beloved cat Choupette. Before Lagerfeld's passing, Chanel would send out these illustrations every year to wish industry favourites happy holidays, and mine always brings a smile to my face when I think of the fashion great's utter devotion to his pet. 

What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone who wanted to bring art into their own space more, or start a small collection?

Choose pieces that speak to you, that you will love forever regardless of time, setting or value.  

Art Favourites | House and Leisure
'Blue Nude II' (1952) by Henri Matisse.

 

Rosalynd Watson, Senior Project Manager

If you could pick any single artwork in the world to have in your home, what would that be? 

I think it would be the above piece, 'Blue Nude II' by Henri Matisse.

What do you think art adds to a home or interior? 

The energy of art in your house brings a special kind of peace and harmony to a certain space in your home and it just adds beauty.

What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone who wanted to bring art into their own space more, or start a small collection? 

Visit the next art fair in your city for inspiration.

ALSO READ: Five Things We Loved at RMB Turbine Art Fair 2019

Garreth van Niekerk, Senior Story Editor

Who is your favourite artist, and why? 

Impossible, I refuse.

If you could pick any single artwork in the world to have in your home, what would that be? 

One of Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Rooms would be a blast to live with. 

What do you think art adds to a home or interior? 

Art (which includes works of design, architecture and craft) is a therapeutic medium for me, that helps me daily with guidance, encouragement and consolation, and generally enables me to become a better version of myself. The works in my home do all of these things. 

What are your current art favourites in your own home, and why? 

I have a series of cloudscape watercolours that the late Fluxus artist and 'cloudsmith' Geoffrey Hendricks painted for me, that always remind me to slow down and look skyward. 

What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone who wanted to bring art into their own space more, or start a small collection? 

Support living artists in any way you can manage. 

Art Favourites | House and Leisure
'Under the Sea' (2018) by Levi Wale.

 

Gemma Bedforth, Art Editor

Who is your favourite artist, and why?  

I can’t commit to this long term, I’m very indecisive, but currently Bodys Isek Kingelez – it's all about escapism for me at the moment, and his fantasy cities are inspiring, uplifting and colourful – places I wish I could really visit.

If you could pick any single artwork in the world to have in your home, what would that be? 

That’s like picking a favourite between your children…

What do you think art adds to a home or interior? 

Apart from personalising a space, art influences your mindset and mood, and therefore the energy in its surroundings too.

What are your current art favourites in your own home, and why? 

A watercolour tilted 'Under the Sea' by Levi Wale, my godchild (pictured above) – it sparks joy, plus the little chap is very talented.

What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone who wanted to bring art into their own space more, or start a small collection? 

One would hope a relationship with an artwork could last a lifetime – take time to be sure you really love what you collect and consider your purchase before making a commitment.

Charl Edwards, Editor

Who is your favourite artist, and why?

Henri Matisse for his playful take on colour, material and form.

If you could pick any single artwork in the world to have in your home, what would that be?

David Hockney’s 'A Bigger Splash’.

What do you think art adds to a home or interior?

A sense of personal narrative and context.

What are your current art favourites in your own home, and why? 

A cluster of ceramic pieces by friends (and my mom) accumulated over time.

Art Favourites | House and Leisure
'Amakholwa' (2018) by Themba Khumalo.

 

Greer Krige, Key Account Director

Who is your favourite artist, and why?

Themba Khumalo. I love his charcoal drawings and I feel that the messages he conveys are strong but done with finesse. 

If you could pick any single artwork in the world to have in your home, what would that be?

Hmmmm tough one... probably a [William] Kentridge.

What do you think art adds to a home or interior? 

Personality. I believe art is a very subjective thing and displaying pieces that you love is like displaying little bits of you. It's quite personal. 

What are your current art favourites in your own home, and why? 

An abstract of the Parisian skyline in various bright shades of blue by Angelique James, which my husband and I purchased while honeymooning in Paris – it has real sentimental value.

What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone who wanted to bring art into their own space more, or start a small collection? 

Invest in pieces that 'speak to you'. You need to feel a connection or a specific emotion when you look at each piece.

Art Favourites | House and Leisure
The exterior of Casa das Histórias Paula Rego in Cascais, Portugal.

 

Robyn Alexander, Deputy and Digital Editor

Who is your favourite artist, and why?

Paula Rego, because she looks at – and paints – women with a unique and totally unsentimental woman’s eye. Last year I was lucky enough to go to the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego museum in Cascais, Portugal (pictured above) and it was incredible to see so much of her work together in one place. It's also an incredible building architecturally, so that adds even more to the pleasure of being there.

If you could pick any single artwork in the world to have in your home, what would that be?

I play a version of this game in every major museum I visit around the world so I change my mind quite regularly on this... I’d love a Mark Rothko painting, but I recently saw the brilliant retrospective of Lee Krasner’s work at the Barbican in London so, right now, I’d like to own her abstract painting, 'Portrait in Green' (1966; pictured below). I don’t have a wall big enough for it, of course, but that’s a minor issue, right?

What are your current art favourites in your own home, and why? 

We have a number of abstract oil paintings by Medina Morphet that I absolutely treasure, but I'm also very fond of the posters that commemorate visits to art museums around the world. I love a framed poster!

What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone who wanted to bring art into their own space more, or start a small collection?

Get advice from someone whose eye you trust – maybe a professional, maybe a friend who knows your taste and a bit about art – and don't be in a rush.

Art Favourites | House and Leisure
'Portrait in Green' (1966) by Lee Krasner. Copyright 2019 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Right Society (ARS) New York.
ALSO READ: House and Leisure's Team Picks at the Zeitz MOCAA