50ty/50ty Screen Prints

WORDS Michaela Stehr

50ty/50ty is a new online collection of screen prints featuring local designers, artists and illustrators that are all available in editions of 50.

Run by Wim and Jeanne Legrand of Black River Studio, 50ty/50ty has created a platform for local artists to exhibit and sell their work. We chatted to Jeanne about the process.

What made you start this initiative? 

We run a production space specialising in screen printing for the art and design sector called Black River Studio. In collaborating with artists at the studio we recognised the absence of a platform for marketing editioned work. At the same time, we met loads of young people with a keen interest in contemporary South African art, but without the funds to make large investments just yet. So, we came up with the idea of an online platform to keep overheads down, and as a result, prices affordable.

The plan is to build a great online collection of emerging and established artists. We are not rushing to make work just to “fill up” space on the website. We’re curating work carefully, so clients also have the possibility to pair works together. For example, we keep the image area the same, so that pieces can work together when framed and hung next to each other – a good example are the prints by Michael Taylor and Mia Chaplin.

Who would you like to work with in the future? 

We release a new print every month. This month’s offering is Tiger-A by Elsabé Milandri. I cannot disclose all of the artists yet, but the line-up for the next few months includes Siwa Mgoboza, Gerhard Human, Julia Rosa Clarke, Jean de Wet, Liza Grobler, Swain Hogervorst and Marna Hattingh. Due to popular demand we will also release a second Michael Taylor and another Mia Chaplin.

What are the plans for 50ty/50ty?

At the moment, for logistical reasons, we work mostly with creatives based in Cape Town. We’re working on an artist-in-residence component, so we can invite and collaborate with artists from elsewhere in South Africa and eventually Southern Africa.

We recognise the need to have a physical presence too, so the local art fairs are an important showcase for us. The next big event we’ll take part in is the Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg in July 2016.

For more information and to browse work for sale, visit fiftyfifty.co.za.