The visual art industry is larded with creativeness packaged into canvas and or sculptures to portray abstract phenomenon with something tangible.
There are markets for completed art work, but the markets come with a price.
In Harare, Zimbabwe to exhibit your products during exhibitions you have to part with between $30 to $60 United States Dollars before you even sell a single piece.
Art besides being creativeness at its best, is not intended for everyone or on preserving culture but has become a lucrative industry.
The artist so as to meet the cost of paint, brushes, canvas, stones, hammers and chisel among others have to peg a price above the reach of locals.
Art pieces are out of reach for ordinary Zimbabweans.
The struggles of Zimbabweans are captured precisely by local artists, those reduced into the narrative can not afford to buy their poor story.
Visual art is now just a commercial business just like car manufacturing which pursue profit interests rather the intrinsic art value.
The elites and the affluent, because they have the resources, can afford the prices tagged on art pieces.
For superiority’s sake and sense of a helping hand, comflouged as the love of art, the capitalists purchases pieces of art and store them for future auctions at more profitable returns.
African culture packaged in art rarely found home in Africans home but in other races which perceive themselves as more superior.
Besides affording the prices, they by all means purchase whatever trace of history that might remain from the perceived weaker race.
The carvings of Zimbabwean bird, was not purely for commercial value but the intrinsic value and pride of the Hungwe totem and symbolic nature thereof.
The hungwe bird is of monetary value to the capitalist but has an emmotional and historical connections to the Hungwe clan and Zimbabweans at large.
In the biblical allegory, sculptures were deities and given the equivalency of gods.
Just stressing the point of the emotional attachment to sculptures as chronicled by the testaments.
Nations raised armies to defend their gods, and invasions were complete if invading armies managed to capture or steal the gods of other states.
The belief was that with foreign gods at your side, you had control of the whole nation.
The Chinese and Japanese have through fiction, filmed how karate is used to defend artifacts in the form of sculptures.
Also through film, they highlight how the art of karate could be used to protect sculptures, the equivalency of gods and karatakors could lay their life to protect the sculptures.
Poverty and struggles are packaged into canvas and sculptures and sold mostly to the global north for a seemingly lucrative price.
Art that portray suffering, struggles and poverty have more takers and raise interest among rich buyers than which are celebratory and of contentment themes.
The buyer of the pieces will part away with thousand dollars as the satification is derived in seeing the suffering and struggles of the poormen displayed in their mansions and backyards with the intention of propagating more suffering through more subtle and cunning ways.
It is not only the love of art but through the art, the purchaser will have an understanding of the culture of the people depicted in the art and device ways for profiteering from the lack and struggles exhibited.
One artist revealed how racist are some of the buyers, ” I was told to wash and remove my black blood on a piece that I have sold”, said a sculptor who refused to be named.
He went on to say that all sculptures are thoroughly cleaned with some chemicals after completion before they went to a market.
The sculptor has to swallow his pride and silently but swearing inside, rinsed the purchased sculpture to clear the blood as alleged.
Suffering and poverty will be here to stay as long art is created premised on the capitalist liking and not based on artistical views of the artist.
Art should be respected more locally and safely guarded as the symbolic custodian of the struggles or celebrations of the people.
Zimbabwe, 43 years after independence should not be celebrating art that continues to invoke the memories of colonialism.
Independence, resilience, freedom, victory, and decoloniality and acts of exuberance should be the themes that should fill our exhibitions and galleries.
Art collectors will demonise these themes as it spite their egos and will be quick to offer lectures of how it is not palatable with the international markets.
Art can be a vehicle of sustainable development if it is fully harnessed and policies are implemented to support the art industry.