Conversation With Gallerist Charl Bezuidenhout, Worldart (Cape Town)

Exhibiting for the first time at Sydney Contemporary 2019 we spoke to WORLDART (Cape Town) Gallery Director Charl Bezuidenhout about their upcoming exhibition.

The gallery is located in Cape Town, can you elaborate on its location and why you chose to open there?
I lived in the US and in London for a long time but I grew up in Cape Town. With its active art scene and being a popular travel destination, it was an easy decision. And I mean, Cape Town — what’s not to love?

What are some career highlights, or exhibition highlights in the gallery to date?
A definitive career highlight was an invitation to the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 with Kilmany-Jo Liversage’s work. Successful solo exhibitions with her in Singapore and London were also special.

Another highlight was exhibiting Norman O’Flynn’s art in Miami and the positive response we got. It’s always nerve wrecking when introducing an artist to new audiences abroad, so when it works it is a great relief.

And then there was a day when Beyoncé walked into my gallery…

What was your first exhibition? And why?
At university I studied law but I always felt more comfortable among the art students. After years of traveling around the world I took a job as an art marketer and not long after that a brave artist convinced me to take the leap and become his exclusive agent. A decision I don’t regret – and I am indeed more comfortable in this space.

Who are you bringing to Sydney Contemporary and why?
Kilmany-Jo Liversage and Norman O’Flynn. These two contemporary artists inspire me with their energetic styles and passion for what they do. Their works have a distinct unique feel but also display universal flair. Though we have sold their works to Australian clients, we have never shown their works here. It will be a first.

Teresa Kutala Firmino, Black Venus, 2019, collage and acrylic paint on canvas, 82 x 64cm. Courtesy the artist and World Art, Cape Town.
Bastiaan van Stenis, The Settlings 002, 2019, mixed media on canvas, 40 x 40 cm. Courtesy the artist and World Art, Cape Town.

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