Art 0r Craft (D)

Auction of the year!!! - Brett Kebble

 Brett Kebble was born in Springs,and matriculated from St. Andrew's School, Bloemfontein (1981) he then went to the University of Cape Town (1986) His first job was as an articled clerk for Mallinicks Cape Town. He was involved in the sale by Anglo American of its JCI gold assets to Mzi Khumalo. He became a South African mining magnate with close links to factions in the ruling political party. In public and private, Kebble lived a flamboyant life.

Brett was shot near a bridge over the M1 in Melrose Johannesburg at around 9pm on 27 September 2005 while driving to a dinner engagement. An autopsy performed three days after the murder found that the bullets were a rare, 'low velocity' type used by bodyguards and crack security operatives. On 27 October 2008, The National Prosecuting Authority officially recognised that Kebble orchestrated his own murder

Kebble strived to bring South African Contemporary Art to the forefront through the launch of the Brett Kebble Art Awards (2003). He wished to empower people and communities through art and was highly successful in the relatively short time that the competition was held. Kebble was forward-thinking on art and culture and generous in his contributions. The Kebble was the most inclusive award of its kind (often criticized for including a “craft” category to be judged on par with the other mediums like painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography) in South Africa. It was also the richest award, having a total purse of R620 000 with a grand prize of R200 000. After Kebble’s murder, his family decided to cancel the 2006 awards.

His art collection went under the hammer on 06 May 2009. Bidders from as far as Australia, New Zealand, Pennsylvania were at the auction. 133 pieces of art where sold for R53.90 million. This short falls the allegation amount of R1,000,000,000 (one billion rand) that he was said to have squandered.

 Kebble begun his collection in 1992 after he had concluded his first major business deal.

The highlight of the auction was the sale of Vladimir Tretchikoff's Lost Orchid, which was estimated to be valued up to R1.2m and sold for R2.9m.  . Other works on auction included the artists Maggie Loubser, JF Pierneef, William Kentridge, George Pemba, Walter Battiss and Thomas Bowler .The collection also included international artists such as Tom Coates and George Devlin.

 A rare occurrence was the sale of a tapestry  measuring 100m entitled Keiskamma  it is an “embroidered history of the Xhosa people” and was expected to fetch R1.2-million. It was one of the exhibited finalists at the Brett Kebble Art Awards at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Inspired by England’s Bayeux Tapestry, the Keiskamma work includes a depiction of Nelson Mandela’s election as president of South Africa.

Auctioneer Graham Britz hosted a swanky event which proved to be a "watershed sale. Guests where required to dress in bow ties and evening gowns. The posh Summer Place venue with its chandeliers and drapes was overflowing with at least 800 registered bidders and a second room had to be made available to accommodate more guests. Several international buyers bid by phone. Screens where set up so that bidders could see the works on offer. "Don't just sit and look at me, you're here to bid, ladies and gentlemen!" Graham exclaimed. The auctioning did not go as planned with big screens featuring pictures shutting down as bidding started.  Graham flustered,at one stage which drew laughter from the audience  as he incorrectly said the bid was for R4 500, instead of R4.2m

Other Kebble auctions held were his R16 million Mansion house (the bill includes R1.45 million for the auctioneer’s commission) and his holiday home. The house is on two acres of land. It has.

’His and ’hers’ en suite bathrooms leading off the main bedroom

A large safe

A temperature-controlled wine cellar

A lift - even though the house only has a ground floor and a first floor!

A drop-down cinema screen in the main lounge

A bullet-proof guard house at the main gate

A computer-controlled irrigation system for the garden

A luxurious Jacuzzi

five garages

A floodlit tennis court which has been badly neglected,

 and a large swimming pool which has turned green

The bid for the mansion was won by Johannesburg businessman Terry Mclintock


Graham’s Fine Art Gallery.

Edited by Heather Zynbad

Art 0r Craft (D)

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