Commissions can be taken on by artists but the client should respect the artist’s interpretation!
Commissions are difficult to reproduce, infact any reproduction. How can it be exactly the same as a drawing by someone else? What is in one person’s imagination is not in the others, not to mention the differences of colour in stone, the feeling and movement in the sculpture. These are impossible to predecipher by either party.
For example, a client who wanted a sculpture (by one of the touring artists) asked for the sculpture to be left unpolished – the artist polished it because he felt it needed to be!
Many visitors ask us whether we influence the artists to make certain sculptures if the market trends are indicating more sales in a certain theme i.e. abstract or figurative.
We do not sell more of any ‘one’ theme and if we did, couldn’t push artists to make certain pieces just because the market changes style. Each artist has their own unique style and it would be unfair to ask them to make otherwise and probably wouldn’t turn out right. It depends on the artist’s skill in expressing the feeling in whatever s/he has produced to make the end buyer fall in love with that sculpture. We feel it is best to buy the sculpture that has already been produced.
If they are true artists they would not have to ask which direction they should be going, but find their own style and artistic path.
Unfortunately due to the popularity of some of the more well known sculptors, other artists try to copy their works and even sign it with the fake name.
Unless you knew the original artist’s work and signature, it is very hard knowing if it is original or who started the original style if you do not know the history of each artist.
Some family members have also been known to reproduce their mother/father’s works and ‘discover’ a new piece by their late relative time and time again! Only by going through reputable dealers like ourselves, who are on the ground here in Zimbabwe can you be reassured that it is an original. We can find out its provenance and will confirm if yours is an original. Of course any paperwork, authenticity papers, receipts or photographs dating back to the era of when it was produced or purchased can also help with its authenticity.
We offer Certificates Of Authenticity with all our sculpture sales and would encourage you to always ask for one when purchasing an expensive Zimbabwean sculpture and to keep the receipt and paperwork somewhere safe. Especially if your family may wish to part with it one day.