David Krut Projects is an integrated cultural institution, of which David Krut, an international art publisher, is the patron. He has three sites on Jan Smuts Avenue in Parkwood – a fine art print workshop, a book and knowledge publisher and book shop, and a gallery to promote artists.
Two things happened at the same time. In the late 90s, I was working with a number of artists who were mid-career but had never had books published about them, to start the Taxi series. At around the same time, I invited an international master printer to South Africa to work with William Kentridge, and it became necessary for me to buy a press and set up a space for him to work in.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
This strip – now known as the Parkwood Art Strip – was all empty. It lacked the parking to support conventional retail spaces, so even the sex shop <Sub: for you to remove> had closed down. There were a string of shops available, so we took the largest space, just below the service station.
When I was looking for the space, the shops on the strip were available and affordable.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
At the time, the shops were available and since we are not strictly a retail space – more of a light industrial one where things are created – they suited our purposes. The fact that they had a shop front was an added bonus, because people could come in to see the art being made, buy the art and buy books to teach them more about what they had seen.
Since we’ve been here, various other gallery people have opened around us. The Goodman Gallery was always across the road, and it’s slowly become a gallery strip, so now we’re part of a community.
Gallery 2, Maker, Res Gallery and the Priest Espresso Bar.
What are the shop rental / sales prices like in this area?
In the early days, they were very affordable, but now are fairly comparable to standard commercial rates for the area.
We’ve already expanded and consolidated – we’ve moved the print workshop to Arts on Main in Maboneng and we have a joint activity with Hadeda over the road. We also have a space in the Cow Shed in Cape Town, and another in Chelsea, New York.
Do you operate online as well?
We have a website, davidkrutprojects.com, but we want people to interact with the art in person, so we don’t sell online.
What’s your most popular item?
011 447 0627
Words: Georgina Guedes | Images: Ter Hollman