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Tiaan Nagel talks art


Our Editor, Tiaan Nagel, has long been deeply immersed within the art world, appreciating and highlighting talent around the country. It is his very own artistic direction that leads HL’s look and feel today.

In light of this, and considering our September 2016 #HLArt issue is currently on shelves, he's shared some of his insights on the topic of art and listed a few of his favourite talents on this scene.

Who are your three favourite local artists and why?

I am obsessed with all of Zander Blom’s work. I regret not buying some pieces earlier, when they were still affordable (well, at least for me). The Stevenson Gallery has a great selection of his work and I try to either see his show in Joburg or when I’m down in Cape Town. Blom’s work is abstract and loaded with references from old masters, but done in such a contemporary, anti-establishment way. I love Edoardo Villa's work too, particularly his large sculptures, and I constantly flip between the bright modernist pieces and the sombre incongruous ones. Finally, I also like Jeremy Wafer’s sculptural wooden carvings.

Image Credit: Vice, Oil on Canvas- Zander Blom Image Credit: Vice. Oil on Canvas - Zander Blom

Which are your top three favourite galleries in South Africa to visit and purchase from?

I don’t buy art often, because firstly, it's expensive and secondly, I have an eclectic taste in art and don’t often find stuff that I like on a regular basis. I like the Stevenson Gallery's extensive contemporary South African/African offering. I also like the WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery and SMITH studio for their more affordable contemporary approach.

Is there a particular artist that has strongly influenced your work and how?

I took a lot of inspiration from Francis Bacon when I was in fashion; I love his use of colour and scale. Also Isa Genzken – I saw her retrospective at MOMA in NYC and it was life-changing. Lastly, I cannot deny my obsession with Brâncuși.

Image Credit: Wikipedia, Constantin Brâncuși, Portrait of Mademoiselle Pogany, 1912, White marble; limestone block, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia. Exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show. Constantin Brâncuși, Portrait of Mademoiselle Pogany, 1912, White marble; limestone block, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.

When you've invested in art in the past, what sort of factors have you considered to help you make a decision?

I usually talk to the curator – I like to know a bit more about young artists and discuss their past collections when buying something new. I have a good friend that studied art and I often bounce some ideas off her. I then do my own research through Google. It is always good to turn to the Web to investigate the artist’s history (studies/recent show reviews).

What is it about art that brings you so much joy?

I’m still not sure. Sometimes I get carried away and get drawn into the process of hunting down the piece; sometimes it’s the story behind the piece more than the actual piece; sometimes it's purely aesthetic.

What would you buy for R5 000?

Frans Armoury's latest work at Salon Ninety One.

What would you buy for R10 000?

A small Hugh Burne, if I'm lucky…

If you had all the money in the world, what single piece of art would you want to invest in?

A large Lucio Fontana.

Which highlights in the new #HLArt issue stand out most to you?

I really like homeowner Roelof Petrus van Wyk’s glass structure and his super collection of Nico Krijno photographs.

Roelof Petrus van Wyk's kitchen wall that has works by Nico Krijno and Dutch artist Viviane Sassen. This home is in our HL September 206 issue- on shelves now. Roelof Petrus van Wyk's kitchen wall with works by South African photographer Nico Krijno and Dutch artist Viviane Sassen. This home is featured in the September 2016 issue of HL.

Pick up our #HLArt issue in stores now.

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