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Meet the Judges - Igsaan Martin, 2017

We’re excited to have GalleryMOMO’s director, Igsaan Martin on our judging panel. He shares his unique career path with us and gives some insight into how he’ll be judging contestants’ work.


Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am currently the director of GalleryMOMO Cape Town. My vision is to utilise the gallery as a platform not only for gallery artists, but for young and up-and-coming artists from Africa and its diaspora as well. My interests lie in video art and new media art and I use the video room in the gallery to explore this passion of mine. Outside of my gallery responsibilities, I am involved in assisting private collections and with the production of artists’ video works, and collaborating with creative collectives in Cape Town.


Did you study formally, and if so, how did this inform your career?

I studied graphic design and printmaking at the College of Cape Town, where I offered a position as an assistant lecturer. In this position, I gained exposure to the art industry and an appreciation for the insights that inspire artists’ work. Seeking to forge a career in the industry, I worked for a progressive art gallery where I gained extensive knowledge and experience in both the local and international fields. I am interested in establishing young artists in the industry and have worked closely with artists on their exhibitions, seeing them through from concept to implementation.


What key aspects will you be looking at when judging contestants’ work?

Conceptual inspiration behind the work. Uniqueness in the incorporation of the PPC Cement as a material element and the skill in execution.


What are your thoughts on art and design in South Africa and Africa as a whole?

Artists who are dealing with the cultural and institutional dynamics of the African continent are those who are creating fresh, interesting and questioning works, which are capturing the attention of local and international collectors. Growing in popularity, there is greater opportunity for young and up-and-coming artists at the moment and as a result, the energy that is being fostered amongst this group is becoming more evident in their interactions.


What do you think about the future of art and design in South Africa?

South Africa has many platforms for young and up-and-coming artists, and Africa as a continent is building great momentum on the international circuit. Maintaining this momentum will be key for the future of art and design in the country, making use of art fairs, and most particularly modern technology and social media to ensure exposure to, and recognition by, a broader international audience. South African art and design is destined for a bright future.


What advice would you give young and up-and-coming designers and artists?

You reap what you sow rings true in that artists need to be prepared to think and work hard in producing their works in order for their talents to be noticed and acknowledged in the industry.


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