Where to drink one of the world’s oldest cocktails + a recipe
A 2-storey artistic experience with art, ink and couture
Limited edition Bearbricks, couture from Off-White + body ink at Rare Gallery
Last updated: 2 November 2022
Art, ink and couture. Inside the door of this hidden gallery are comic book displays, a cast-bronze phallus and the buzz of Afro beats. That's why Rare Gallery (on the border of Bree Street) is a popular stopping point for First Thursday. It's so much more than that, though. Rare is a wonderland of modern artistic expression.
Rare Gallery on Watson Street, just off Bree Street. Image: Rare Gallery
UNCOVER THE RARE EXPERIENCE
Every exhibition at Rare Gallery showcases a curious collection of atypical artworks and collectables that are hard to come by in Cape Town. From limited edition Family Figures by Brooklyn-based artist KAWS to Japanese MediCom toy figure Bearbricks, which have become all the rage since its release around 21 years ago.
Upon entry, you’ll find head-turning pieces by South African artist Fringe. Bubblegum-pink Star Wars Stormtrooper heads and a large cast-bronze phallus “Joystick” grab your attention on the ground floor, along with oil canvas paintings of TinTin, Mickey Mouse and Snoopy Comics.
Exhibitions run for two months. Image: Rare Gallery
From young couples buying portraits from Fringe to art enthusiasts bidding for the limited edition KAWS Family Figures, Rare has become a creative outlet for future-forward art buyers and students. Pop culture enthusiasts will appreciate the Andy Warhol “Brillo” Bearbrick 1000% or the life-sized Joker, an unmissable Instagram moment captured by South African music icon Uncle Waffles.
You could bump into South African music icons like DJ Waffles or Musa Keys at the gallery. Image: Rare Gallery
JOIN FOR FIRST THURSDAYS
Rare offers a multi-sensory First Thursdays experience with its art, tattoo studio and luxury couture store. Curious spectators are welcomed with a complimentary drink and the buzz of Afrobeats from live DJs, complemented by the youthful energy of the Rare team most of whom are under 30 years old. Besides the funky pop art persona and creative hub with a ping pong table, Rare is a popular stopping point due to its ideal location (on the border of Bree Street’s festival).
The young energy creates an artistic community for both younger generations and art collectors. Image: Rare Gallery
INVEST IN COUTURE + BODY ART
Virgil Abloh’s signature brand Off-White, Dior and streetwear brands Amiri are just some of the major designer names you’ll find at Rare Luxury, just above Rare Gallery. The sleek store welcomes you with warped-bronze mirrors, plush carpets and A-class dressing rooms. You’ll find must-have apparel like the Jitney 2.8 leather tote bag from Off-White or Amiri skeleton high tops and Dior B22 to add to your sneaker collection.
Artworks are scattered around the couture store (even using them as models to hold bags). Image: Rare Gallery
Not only can you invest in art for your house or couture for your closet, but you can also dabble in body art with Rare Ink. The in-house tattoo studio mimics the funky energy of the gallery with red neon lights, skateboards and an edgy, punk-rock-like mural. Rare Ink functions during First Thursday hours and can take one client at a time.
The “red room” is located just off the main gallery room. Image: Rare Gallery
RARE GALLERY: WHEN + WHERE TO GO
Rare Gallery opening hours for First Thursdays: 10am - 9pm
Rare Gallery is open: Tuesday to Fridays, 10am - 6pm; Saturdays, 11am - 5pm
Find it: 6 Watson Street (around the corner from Pizza Shed), Cape Town City Centre
Contact Rare Gallery on: 074 784 2986, Instagram: @raregallery_
By Lara van Zyl
DISCOVER MORE ART IN CAPE TOWN
Find out more about Rare Gallery, Ink and Luxury.
Check out our guide to First Thursdays in Cape Town.
Dine on sushi and cocktails while checking out art.
Discover +7 things to do this weekend.