The responsibility of the curator

Greg is an Image Swing curator based in Johannesburg. He talks about some of the work that goes into building Image Swing’s growing library of fine art.

I live in Joburg, a city bursting with creativity.

I can check out the Joburg Philharmonic and then head a couple of blocks down the street to dance the rest of the night away at an amapiano party.

As a curator in such a creative city, I’m spoiled for choice. The challenge of course, is deciding which art works to choose for our growing collection, when there are so many wonderful pieces to choose from.

I have to ensure I don’t let my personal taste define my decisions. After all, I’m working to build a diverse collection of work, featuring a range of styles and techniques.

But at the same time, my job is to maintain consistent high quality.

That’s for the sake of our clients: in the long run, no one will be satisfied by substandard work. We work hard to ensure that we provide a range of styles to suit different tastes and to enhance all kinds of living spaces - but at the same time, we insist on a consistent thread of quality.

It’s also for the sake of the artists themselves. Artists may be able to make a quick buck by churning out work below their usual high standards, but ultimately it hurts their credibility and disrupts their creative process. Helping artists produce their best work is really important to us.

More than an art marketplace

Image Swing was founded on the premise that great art should be accessible to everyone.

But as art lovers, we insist that art is not simply another commodity.

Making quality work accessible is about more than creating a platform for buying and selling.

It’s about nurturing talent. It’s about taking clients on a journey of artistic discovery. It’s about connecting people with art that will enrich their lives.

That’s why we take curation so seriously. We’re not gatekeepers. We’re not here to tell anyone which artists they should like or which styles are best for them. And we’re certainly not going to force our artists to obey the cold logic of the art market.

But we are committed to building a world class collection of work that makes your life much more beautiful.

It’s a real balancing act, and I’d be lying if I said it was easy. But we love art, and we love sharing it, which ultimately makes my hard work more than worth it.