Many five star hotels in Cape Town, as well as Cape Town guest houses and holiday homes, are decorated with some fine contemporary South African art. Recently, prints have been found more commonly in art collections rather than paintings and sculptures, which come in and out of fashion.
The difference between a print and a reproduction is that an original print is an image that exists only in print and was created by the artist as a print, usually in collaboration with a master print maker. A painting, or anything else that has been photographed and then printed, is a reproduction.
For an amateur art collector, planning on buying a set of prints to decorate their Cape Town holiday house, it may be best to buy the prints from a professional workshop, where the printmakers work directly with the artists. The printmakers will be able to explain the process of printmaking to the collector, who is far more likely to buy a print made from light-fast inks and printed on acid free archival paper so that the prints won't fade or crumble with time, ensuring that their investment is kept intact.
It is recommended that when purchasing a print, buyers request a certificate of authenticity. This includes all of the details of how the print was made and is signed by the printer as well as the artist to verify its integrity and that it has been correctly numbered. That is, to disclose the number that the particular print is in the edition, this is usually indicated on the bottom of the page in the border, along with the artist's signature, the title and date.
During their stay in Cape Town, it is advisable that visitors head to the many art galleries in Greenpoint and Woodstock where the most respected art galleries are located in order to find some wonderful artists who produce prints.