And so we look not at things seen, but to things unseen; for things seen are temporary, but things unseen are eternal.

john and a portrait by Ali Sajjadi







There’s a man named John that walks past the shop periodically. He carries a clear plastic bag full of very old drawings and prints. The streets of Africa are populated by many men selling a vast variety of goods from avocados to car phone chargers to dish towels. But John’s offering is unique. Today he sold me this original drawing for R20. He was very happy because it was his minbus taxi fare for at least 4 days. Though John is obviously destitute, he always tells me of the artworks worth hundreds of thousands that he keeps for himself.


Postscript: After I wrote that last bit I started to wonder and wouldn’t you know…it isn’t a hundred grand but I’ve just been told that the work I’ve purchased for €2 is an original drawing on his own stationary by the Iranian illustrator Ali Hajjadi potentially worth €300. If the right collector ever finds my find John will have taxi fare for a year…

Posted July 10th, 2012