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Standard Bank Wealth teams up with famed sculptor to craft ‘barcoded’ clay work that showcases the art of uniqueness
30 November 2018
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Johannesburg, 17 September 2018 - As a leading patron of the arts,Standard Bank Wealth and Investment has commissioned African artist Nkosinathi Thomas Ngulube to develop a distinctive clay sculpture that reflects its own philosophy of sculpting award-winning services and solutions that grow, preserve and protect wealth.

 The piece, entitled ‘The Sculpture’, represents a human face evolving from a barcode, reflecting the continent’s power, grace and passion for protecting and nurturing families within broader society.

 “This is a metaphor for how we see our clients – as truly unique,” says Christopher Browne,Global Head of Standard Bank Wealth and Investment.

 “At Standard Bank Wealth and Investment, we employ a unique approach that has secured us five international wealth awards. This success is built on our commitment to getting to know our clients personally to better understand their circumstances, needs and ambitions. That is how we build portfolios that best grow and protect our client’s wealth and why we were named Africa’s Leading Wealth Manager,” continues Mr Browne.

 “In similar vein to the detailed and complex process of developing this innovative and distinctive masterpiece by Nkosinathi, through understanding you and your family’s unique goals and ambitions, Standard Bank Wealth and Investment strives to craft a generational wealth plan that is a true reflection of who you are,” he says.

 According to Nkosinathi, this is one of the most challenging works he has yet created because he had to frame his vision within a computer-generated code at conception – the barcoded component had to be digitally created.

 “From there I could let my hands and vision take over, and I believe I have created something very special, ultimately taking the shape of a human face evolving from a barcode, or at least my perception of this. It possesses the power of an African and of the uniqueness of each human being. It reflects the beauty of our continent regardless of gender, colour or creed, whilst portraying the human truth that you are not just a number; you are unique and stand apart from all other people,” he says.

 Notably, the artwork also reflects that wealth is precious – and meticulously achieved.

 “It is your unique life journey that creates your wealth, which is why this piece has a barcode, embodying an element that all clients can identify. At Wealth and Investment, we believe the same principles to creating a masterpiece such as this apply to managing our clients’ wealth portfolios, because the same passion and purpose goes into sculpting each and every one of our client’s generational wealth plans. We are precise in our understanding that no two clients are the same – and neither are their wealth management needs,” says Mr Browne.

 Nkosinathi says the process entailed using recycled material which is found at a scrapyard– but which he would turn into a “skyscraper”. An analogy, he believes, for how wealth is achieved over a lifetime.

 “My involvement in this work also debunks misperceptions in the art industry that individual artists are not getting the support to forge relationships with big corporates,” says Nkosinathi.

 “We are very proud of our relationship with Nkosinathi and are very appreciative of his willingness to work with us on this piece. Art remains a popular choice to grow a portfolio while reaping the rewards of a beautiful asset, and Standard Bank Wealth and Investment remains extremely committed to the development of the art industry locally and in Africa. We are committed to supporting local artists and exhibitions, all while doing our bit in creating a platform from which investors can invest in African art with success,” says Mr Browne.

 Standard Bank Wealth and Investment’s footprint throughout Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Mauritius, as well as international offices in London and Jersey, combined with Standard Bank Group’s more than 154-year history, strengthens the business’ ability to support the creative ambitions of African artists and the creative wealth ambitions of individual clients and their families across the continent.

 “Our wealth management philosophy centres on managing, growing and protecting the unique generational wealth ambitions of our clients and their families, whilst our goals-driven investment approach, which include investment in art where appropriate, allow client’s to take a long-term view of their investments, whilst simultaneously meeting the short-term lifestyle needs of their family,” concludes Mr Browne.

 ‘The Sculpture’ will be placed in the foyer of Standard Bank’s head office in Rosebank from today, 17 September, while full-scale framed portraits will at the same time be erected across all Standard Bank Wealth and Investment offices across the continent.



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