We took a meander down Loop Street, anticipating a dreary lunch in some streetside shop, with a Coca-Cola sponsored sign. Luckily for us, good karma and the will of the gods places in front of Open Art. Nosey parkers as we are, we wandered up the stairs (and what may as well have been along the yellow-brick road) to have a peek. What a fantasmagorical place.
Firstly, the gallery. It is so so rare that I like that much modern art in one place. In addition, my attending lunch-mate and I, NEVER agree on art. So that fact that we were both standing there smitten at the sight and smell of oils and enamels, is really quite something. The gallery has that “we tidied up the garage” feel to it. Nothing pretentious, nothing clinical. Just the art, as it is – and “as it is”, is something for everything and quite remarkable.
Secondly, the studio. So We’re taking a peek at the pretty pictures (in laymen’s terms) When I realize that we are actually standing behind a screen of art – and on the other side one of the resident artists is in fact busy with a piece. Nothing like literally breaking the fouth wall to make you lust for art you already love.
Thirdly, the kitchen. With an indoor and out, the sun-soaked venue is a great lunch date place. Think whitewashed, sun-kissed antiquity. Decor: gran’s mismatched silver trays and cutlery, coffee table art books as centerpieces, white-washed wood and chalk-scrawled menus on the blackboard. The light lunch menu includes the lovelies of quiche, cake, croissants and salads – all exceptionally reasonably-priced. Two times berry juice and one times smoked chicken salad to share (with complementary ciabatta), left us thoroughly satisfied – especially at the bill of only R60.
A quiet little haven of art and un-pretense, if you’re looking to stop for a coffee, have a light lunch or peruse some artwork, Open Art is a come-as-you-are sanctuary in the city.