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‘Burning Man’ Comes to Cape Town

 ‘Burning Man’ Comes to Cape Town

Art lovers and collectors need look no further than Cape Town for their own version of Afrika Burn…with the auctioning of a ‘flaming’ sculpture by artist Anton Smit at Stephan Welz & Co. on Tuesday, 10 June.

The 2,5 metre tall sculpture, entitled Burning Man, depicts a human figure who transforms into flames, and is valued at R140 000 – R250 000. Made of glass-reinforced polymer covered with oxidising metal strips and paint, the sculpture appears to be in motion. Another Anton Smit sculpture entitled Transections, which has an estimated value of R380 000 – R700 000, will also be on offer.

One of South Africa’s most important sculptors, Smit is completely self-taught and won his first sculpting competition at age 16.International recognition has come in the form of exhibitions in Rome, Milan, Bonn, Washington, Singapore, Koln and Amsterdam. Many of his sculptures are on display at the three-hectare Anton Smit Sculpture Park at Gauteng’s Bronkhorstspruit Dam.

Lionel Smit On Fire

Like father, like son, the saying goes, and few young South African artists are hotter commodities these days than Anton’s Cape Town-based son, Lionel. Born in 1982, he started developing and exhibiting straight after art school and is best known for his contemporary portraiture executed through monumental canvasses and sculptures.

Over the past 10 years he has established a substantial international following with collectors ranging from the Standard Chartered Bank to the Laurence Graff Art Collection at Graff Delaire wine estate. Smit’s painting has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, where it received the Viewer’s Choice Award, as well as being selected as the ‘face’ of the BP Portrait Award 2013 for all campaigns. He was recently honoured with a Ministerial Award from the Department of Culture for Visual Art and a highlight of his career has been the publication of one of his paintings on the cover of Christie’s Auction Catalogue.

Lionel Smit’s Portrait, a 40 x 29,5cm painting valued at R 25 000 – R 45 000, will be auctioned at the 10 June auction. Last year at another Stephan Welz & Co. auction, one of Smit’s paintings, Lumination 2 (which was valued at R120 000 – R150 000), achieved a sale price of R270 000.

“Lionel Smit is one of those rare contemporary artists who achieves the same prices for his work in both the primary and secondary markets,” said Anton Welz. “He is not an extremely prolific artist, but at the same time has huge local and international appeal, so whenever his work comes to auction, it does very well.

The Stephan Welz & Co. Fine Art and Design Auction will take place on Tuesday 10 June at The Great Cellar, Alphen Estate, Alphen Drive, Constantia. Pre-auction viewing is open to the public at no charge, daily from Wednesday 4 June – Sunday 8 June, 10h00 to 17h00 daily.

For more information contact 021-794-6461 or e-mail The auction catalogue can be viewed

Follow Stephan Welz & Co. on Twitter @StephanWelzCo

Stephan Welz - burning man - small



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