Q&A | Craig Marks, founder of SculptX still set on carving out a niche

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Isiqhaza esizimele, 2020. Sandile Radebe. (Courtesy of SculptX)
Isiqhaza esizimele, 2020. Sandile Radebe. (Courtesy of SculptX)

  • Many South African sculpture parks are found in outlying areas far from the public. 
  • By bringing them to Melrose Arch they become more accessible to a larger audience. 
  • With the cancellation of art fairs, its organisers felt it important to present the fair in person again. 

What was the motivation for starting a sculpture fair? 

Craig Marks: We noticed the growing interest in sculpture with the opening of a large number of foundries in South Africa. We realised that a large sculpture fair that presented emerging artists together with established sculptors could provide a valuable platform for the participating artists, collectors and the genre as a whole. Many of South Africa’s most prominent sculpture parks are to be found in outlying areas and by presenting SculptX in Melrose Arch, we would be able to make them more publicly accessible to larger audiences. 

What will make this year's edition special? 

CM: With the cancellation of many art fairs and larger shows over the last two years, we felt it important to present SculptX this year despite the challenges. We expect that SculptX will be even more special and will generate extensive interest this year as it is a positive expression of the art sectors desire to continue to create and present their works despite the pandemic. 

How will an online aspect complement it? 

CM: We have decide to also present the exhibition online this year so as to give larger audiences, many of whom will be unable to visit the show, to experience it and to acquire works. There is a strong global demand for Pan African contemporary art and we expect that SculptX will benefit from being able to expose the works to these audiences online. Our viewing room also allows us to present much engaging information on the artists and their work in the form of photography, videos and texts, which will allow viewers a deeper understanding of the works. 

How do you go about identifying works for the fair? 

CM: We distribute a callout on our social media, other platforms and in the media. We don’t stipulate any criteria and consider all applications. We want SculptX to provide a valuable platform for emerging sculptures to present their works and the fair is therefore filled with works across different sizes, materials, price points and themes. 

What are some of the largest sculptures??  

CM: We are presenting many large sculptures including Willie Bester’s ‘Apocalypse’ horse, Sophia van Wyk’s Cirrus, one of Andries Botha’s globally acclaimed life-sized elephants, Andries Stead’s Modern Icon and Elizabeth Balcomb’s Son of Man which is 350x250cm. 

People can buy the sculptures - what is the price range??? 

CM: The sculptures will be available for purchase and range from as little as R1500 to over R1 million. 


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