Nestled in the vibrant heart of Cape Town, RARE Gallery has emerged as a dynamic and transformative force within the city’s artistic landscape. With its innovative approach, commitment to supporting emerging artists and a diverse range of exhibitions, RARE Gallery has established itself as the premier artistic creative hub in Cape Town. In this feature, we will explore the unique qualities that make RARE Gallery a haven for both artists and art enthusiasts alike and delve into the gallery’s significant contributions to the local art scene from the gallery’s creative director, Callum Supreme.

RARE Gallery prides itself on providing a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent. RARE as an art movement collectively seeks out undiscovered artists, encouraging them to experiment and push boundaries in their artistic practice. Through curated exhibitions for emerging artists providing them with exposure and fostering connections within the industry, and by nurturing the next generation of creatives, RARE Gallery plays a crucial role in shaping the future of the Cape Town art scene.

The gallery boasts a series of dynamic exhibition space in a hotspot area in Cape Town that have captivated audiences and critics alike. RARE Gallery is committed to engaging with the local community and fostering art appreciation. In addition to exhibitions, the gallery hosts artist talks, workshops, and educational programs aimed at cultivating a deeper understanding of contemporary art. These initiatives encourage dialogue and collaboration between artists and the public, making art more accessible and inclusive. Recognising the importance of collaboration, RARE Gallery actively collaborates with other creative institutions, both locally and internationally.

Above: Rare Mode Installation

By partnering with like-minded organisations, the gallery expands its reach and provides opportunities for artists to showcase their work on a global stage. Such collaborations strengthen Cape Town’s position as a thriving artistic hub, attracting attention from art enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. The curators like Callum at RARE Gallery possess a discerning eye for exceptional artwork, creating a space that resonates with both seasoned collectors and art enthusiasts exploring their passion. Each exhibition is meticulously curated to provoke dialogue and challenge conventional notions of art, resulting in a dynamic and ever-evolving experience for visitors.

We locked in with one of the Creative Directors of Cape Town’s arts and fashion collective RARE GALLERY, Callum. Can you introduce yourself and, for those who don’t know, elaborate on what RARE GALLERY is? 

My name is Callum Supreme and I am a creative director as well as a stylist and creative entrepreneur. I’m 23 years old and live in Cape Town, South Africa. I was born in JHB [Johannesburg] and lived there for most of my life before coming to Cape Town in 2021.

How did you find yourself doing what you do? 

Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved doing creative activities. I first realised it through the way I dressed and my passion for styling clothes. I have also been surrounded by music creatives my whole life, I always tended to gravitate toward creative projects. I soon came to understand that I wouldn’t be able to work an office job and that allowed me to pursue the dream of being involved in creative spaces. I come across the opportunity to work at Rare Gallery before it even opened which allowed me to share my ideas and views on what a creative hub could be, to work on developing my skills and knowledge on building brands and better understanding and contributing to the creative world.

Why have you created the space as you have? We often see the combining of art and fashion yet RARE GALLERY stands out, so it would be great to know the genius behind it.

Well I’m not the only one creating this space, I work alongside a really great, hardworking team. I think what makes us stand out is that we are unconventional in terms of the status quo of both art and retail. It is a unique space in that it is not a traditional retail store nor is it a traditional art gallery. We are also very in tune with what’s in vogue in the creative spheres around us and we try to reflect that in what we bring to life. We connect to people and make them feel something when they walk through this space. We often see people walk into the Gallery and they are so excited and just amazed with each room they walk into. There are interactive things to do in the gallery, and in that sense it is really an experience and you walk out feeling enriched. The gallery itself is almost like a little fantasy space hidden in Cape Town that changes every three months. We always try to make our exhibitions transformative and immersive, so it is always a new experience even for people who have already been to the Gallery before. We are unique as we are redefining the traditional retail experience in South Africa and we do it in a way that really resonates with our audience; and we are not afraid to try new things. We are always looking for opportunities to collaborate, we truly believe that great things come from working with others so we are always keen to bring something to life with other people doing really cool things. 

RARE Gallery transcends the traditional gallery model by seamlessly integrating a luxury fashion store within its walls. Recognising the inherent relationship between art and fashion, the gallery presents carefully curated collections of high-end clothing and accessories that embody the same spirit of creativity and individuality. Inside, you will find the likes of Aries Arise, Bottega Veneta, Ami, Rick Owens, Who Decides Wear, Off-White and near all of your favourite designer labels on display in full uniform as well as a extensive offering of pioneering African designers.

Above: A selection of key statement makers from AMIRI & MSGM from RARE Luxury

How would you describe the fashion & arts scene in Cape Town right now? 

There is a prominent art scene in Cape Town but it is mostly very traditional, old and with strong European influence. The importance of modern/contemporary art and popular culture, which is what Rare Gallery focuses on, is just on the rise. Cape Town is one of the world’s most renowned tourist spots and has become very popular in recent years so it is definitely a city to look out for. Our goal at Rare Gallery is to contribute to the creative industry and provide a platform for previously marginalized creatives to express themselves. Rare Gallery is among quite a few brands really trying to make waves in Cape Town’s arts and culture scene, so it is a quickly developing environment and there are a lot of interesting things happening from some really hard working people. We are aware of our potential in shaping and contributing to this industry, so we really want to put emphasis on African artists and designers and show the world really how interesting and exciting the creative industry in Africa is and portraying this in the best possible way.

Above: Palm Angels from RARE Luxury

What do you feel RARE GALLERY does best, and what best describes the energy the gallery brings? 

I feel what we do best at the Gallery is curating unique exhibitions that feel like an experience when you walk through it. We put a lot of energy and investment into creating memorable experiences and we think our people really enjoy this a lot. The energy is like no other, once you step inside you kind of forget about life and its problems and you’re allowed to just take in the moment which is something people don’t often get to do. It’s a refreshing type of energy, one that you kind of crave. It’s always changing, it’s always interesting and really inspires people’s fun side and creativity. Nothing but good vibes! 

Above: Footwear and accessories from Off White & Moose Knuckles x Telfar via RARE Luxury

You’ve been known to spotlight new brands from across Africa, why is championing new talent important at RARE GALLERY & to you?

One thing I can tell you for sure is that Africa is really up next, all eyes are on the African creative industry, from the music of Afrobeats and Amapiano, to adopting African culture. It is a really interesting space to be working in. Rare Gallery always takes the opportunity to collaborate with and spotlight upcoming African brands and creatives because its something that needs to be celebrated and adds so much value to our society and to the world in general. It is important for us to create a platform for people just like us who are passionate about what they do and committed to bringing something beautiful into the world. I think it’s important to encourage new talent and celebrate them and give them a space to share their work. And it’s also really rewarding for our audience to see new talent they haven’t seen before and connect with different forms of creativity, so we try to give them that and scout for new talent to shine light on. We recently did a pop up for a Nigerian streetwear brand called Thirsty Laboratory and it was a huge success. These pop-ups are a platform for brands to be introduced to a South African crowd and similarly for our South African audience to experience different brands. It is a mutually enriching exchange. 

Rare Gallery x Thirsty Laboratory Pop-Up, June 2023

What does the future look like for you and RARE GALLERY? What is on your mission for the rest of 2023?

For me personally is to get Africa to the world and get the world to Africa. I want the potential to be seen and heard and appreciated fully. I want to bring brands out here to experience the culture for what it is. As for Rare gallery, we remain focused on curating memorable experiences and collaborating with creatives. We are also looking to get into hosting experiential events so that is definitely something to look out for. We want to collaborate with more international fashion brands and artists, allowing people to see and experience things they have only dreamed about or seen on social media. The dream is to make it a reality. One of our plans I look forward to for this year is to collaborate with my brother James Loach and curate a pop-up experience like no other; bringing brands and art from Europe into the Gallery and making a memorable experience; The dream is to take Africa to the world. By starting with our event here in Cape Town and following up with one in London, we would have successfully achieved a great starting basis of expanding into the northern hemisphere.

RARE Gallery has emerged as the epicentre of artistic creativity in Cape Town, offering a space where artists can experiment, grow, and connect with the community. Through its commitment to supporting emerging artists, dynamic exhibition spaces, community engagement, collaborations, and curatorial excellence, RARE Gallery has become a driving force in shaping the cultural identity of Cape Town. With each exhibition, the gallery reinforces its position as the artistic creative hub of the city, inspiring artists and captivating audiences with its ever-evolving artistic vision.

As the vibrant beats of Amapiano music continue to sweep across the globe, VIPER Magazine is thrilled to present an exclusive DJ mix that perfectly encapsulates the electric atmosphere of the Rare Gallery Store in Cape Town, and across the water here in VIPER’s hometown of London, UK-based Creative James Loach and South African Creative & DJ Tii.amo have curated a a bespoke Amapiano mixtape, immersing listeners in the infectious rhythms and euphoric melodies that have made this genre a global phenomenon. Listen here,

Visit RARE GALLERY here at 6 Watson St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001 and stay connected via www.raregallery.co.za

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