Franschhoek in the Western Cape Winelands is renowned for lovers of art and design, as much as it is for world-class wines. At ODA | Objekt.Design.Art, a beautiful double volume space, artists have a home to exhibit their inspired creations.
Owned by German designers and craft experts, Patrizia Litty & Andreas Betzold, the gallery has, in only 2 years, gained a loyal following amongst the locals, as well as international art collectors and enthusiasts alike.
The elegant space houses art by a combination of up-and-coming artists, such as Stanislaw Trzebinski & Michaela Rinaldi, as well as more established names such as Paul Blomkamp.
We got to know the owners and the gallery a little more…
To reinforce our core principle that the artist and his/her work are the centre of attention and not the gallerist, we decided to depart from the traditional manner in which galleries are named after the owner/curator.
“Objekt” is consciously written with a K as the meaning is more comprehensive in German and also refers to my German roots. In my view, OBJEKT, DESIGN and ART are closely linked and in a modern context, even interchangeable.
In this digital age, the borders between different disciplines begin to melt as artists use 3-d technology to create or modify sculptures, and designers grab a paint brush to artistically add to their work.
The traditional model of an “art gallery” needs to be revisited and transformed in order for galleries to remain relevant over the next 20 years.
Franschhoek offers an entire world within a nutshell. Both national as well as international visitors will frequent this gem of a place due to its scenic beauty, impressive culinary offerings and European style shopping on a visually pleasing high street.
The village lends itself perfectly to establish a business that involves luxury and culture.
Which clientele do you cater to?
We tend to attract South African collectors that are either focusing on finding young, unknown artists or collectors that search for specially curated works by established artists.
Many works go to overseas buyers that tap into the emerging South African art market, either as investors or simply as art lovers. ODA’s main international markets are the UK, Switzerland and Germany.
What sets your gallery apart from its peers?
We focus on the artist. Driven by our love of art, we establish close relationships and try to support artists beyond ODA. We do not host an endless array of artists or shows, but rather focus on a small, select group.
I believe art is a form of storytelling, which is such a strong element within an African context. Hence, for me, it is impossible to simply show only one work by an artist – there needs to be at least 2 or 3 pieces to fulfill the idea of “telling a story”.
What do you look for in artists? How do you select whom to feature?
Many people (even gallerists) tend to conflate the notion of art that they like with good art. Art that I like might not be good art and could be on display in the gallery on a tiny scale. The main focus remains on presenting good art which for me follows a clear definition:
- The artist needs to spend extensive time on working to develop the craft (preferably full-time).
- The artist needs to be recognisable, that is, have a distinct own handwriting, completely different from anybody else out there.
- Art needs to be the voice of what is happening NOW, or at least run a commentary on either global developments or something closer to the home environment.
ODA specialises in contemporary art and not at all on artists that have left this earth. We also stay away from art that has a large commercial or cliché element to it, i.e. no Big Five wildlife paintings.
What should buyers look for when buying art as an investment?
- Spread the portfolio as wide as possible, and your chances of hitting a jackpot will definitely increase.
- Follow good art. Refrain from buying art that would match the living room curtains.
- Get a sense of what’s out there. Spend time visiting galleries, art fairs, artist studios, etc. Select a few galleries that make sense on a personal level and stick to them.
- Be wary of art consultants and stay away from “art bubbles”.
- 42 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek, South Africa
- +27 (0)21 8763809
Pictures: ODA | Objekt.Design.Art