LIPSTICK ART: Artwork made from lipstick by Sarah Britten sits at Vèlo Café for customers to enjoy

LIPSTICK ART: Artwork made from lipstick by Sarah Britten sits at Vèlo Café for customers to enjoy.

Corrugated iron doors almost make you shy away from the Ithuba’s politically satirical imagery found in the gallery space until you see what’s inside: Bullets, whips and Jacob Zuma occupy the floor space in the gallery commemorating   the 20 years of South African democracy that encourage critical discourse to take place.

This exhibition titled Tension Torsion: 20 Years On, is a group exhibition curated by Farieda Nazier, with new works from Gordon Froud, Avitha Sooful and Oupa V Mokwena.

The Revival of Art

Art galleries are part of the revivalist strategy for the student community, for instance, the Stevenson gallery, which occupies the corner of Juta street and plays host to artist Nandipha Mntambo’s solo exhibition called Transience. Stevenson offers the contemporary art audience in and around Braamfontein an alternative solution to the otherwise high-end art galleries in Johannesburg.

[pullquote]The gallery’s pieces are all under R10 000, affordable by art prices in Joburg.[/pullquote]

Director and curator, David Brodie, views the decision to open a gallery in Braamfontein as “culturally important” crediting the opening of the Wits Art Museum (WAM) as one of the primary reasons for opening the space.

The artwork is set against a navy background with an eggplant chair made from cow-hide hanging loosely from the ceiling and portions of hair protruding from the works that are displayed on the walls in a trendy and avante garde atmosphere. The less alternative pieces hang quietly at the entrance of the gallery which leads visitors and art enthusiasts into the transient world of Mntambo’s mind.

Affordable luxury

The gallery’s pieces are all under R10 000, affordable by art prices in Joburg. According to Brodie, prices range on the artist’s credibility in the art scene. A comparatively smaller and contained gallery space located walking distance from Stevenson, aptly called ‘Room’ is a “space that is full of concepts and where concepts change”, says special projects manager Megan Mace. It depicted issues about space and how this changes.

The current exhibition is by young artist, Mack Magagane, titled Somewhere Between and is a photographic journey of the three months he lived in Europe, as an outsider. A red curtain separates the gallery space, creating what Mace refers to as a “haphazard space” that plays with the idea of the concept of space.

However if you happen to want to catch a bite while perusing through artworks, then pop into Vélo Café which offers a double a treat of food and art. Artworks by Sarah Britten made from red and pink lipstick add an interesting contrast to the white walls and work as an ice-breaker for first date conversation.

So, if you’re planning to go out to explore the city, Juta street’s art hub is the perfect location for developing your art palette.