Apollo: South Africa’s First Instagram Auction House

Apollo AuctionThis is SUCH exciting news! Digital has such a beautiful place in South Africa. Ironically, having a nation of lower income earners has led South Africa to be one of the world’s leading mobile countries. Because many people can’t afford to have a desktop or laptop computer in their home, EVERYONE has turned to mobiles and mobile technology. People from overseas often use South Africa as an example of mobile technology use since we’re such a nation of happy cell phone users! So when I received news that South Africa’s FIRST INSTAGRAM Auction house, APOLLO, had launched, I was over the moon with excitement. This will give so many talented artists an opportunity to be featured on an official auction platform to local and international markets, I think it’s amazing! So here’s more:


Apollo Auctions (@ApolloAuctions), an exciting new art auction marketplace housed on popular social media site Instagram. A concept created by 3 Capetonian entrepreneurs with strong ties to art, media and auction, Johann Schwella, Blaise Janichon and Joe de Wet, saw an opportunity to assist their artist friends transition creations to sales. Apollo Auctions officially launched and will provide upcoming, young artists with a marketplace to showcase and sell their work, complete with the necessary infrastructure to support the traditional sales, marketing and distribution aspects that many new artists struggle with when trying to sell their work. 

Apollo Artists

Danielle Clough South African embroidery artistDANIELLE CLOUGH ON APOLLO AUCTIONS

Their first auction featured embroidery artist Danielle Clough, with her piece ‘To Hold To Love’. It received a bid of $120. The trio has elected to trade in US Dollars in order to break into the overseas markets and provide a more “universal” currency.  The second featured origami artist with Ross Symons, known as @white_onrice on Instagram, who’s work went up for auction on the 10th of December. To wrap up the year, infamous pop culture artist Jaco Haasbroek’s art will be launched on the 17th of December.


Johann, co-creator of 10and5 and one of the three Apollo founders, believes that the social auction house will provide artists with the necessary tools to focus on their craft. He says, 

“Whilst we live in a social age where quality content can spread easily, and despite the depth of artistic and creative talent abundant in South Africa, few have developed the means to make a full-time living from their craft. The distribution and marketing of work creates many barriers, especially for individual artists who understand creation more than commerce. “With this offering, we are hoping to actively address these challenges, freeing up artists to focus on their craft while the site offers the necessary marketing, sales and distribution infrastructure.”

Blaise, renowned for starting The Bin Store & Gallery and CircusNinja Street art brand (2000’s), says:

Apollo Instagram artists platform“South Africa is renowned globally as artistic hub and Cape Town is at the epicenter of its creative heart. This, along with prestige around campaigns such as Design Capital of The World and the annual Design Indaba has firmly placed South African creatives on the map. We look forward to tapping into the potential of our artistic community, providing them with a hub where their work will have the necessary exposure, as well as the opportunity to convert that into sales.”

Joe, former financial manager of Cape Thoroughbred Sales the largest thoroughbred auction house in South Africa, brings his financial acumen and knowledge of auctioneering to the venture. He believes that the Apollo Auctions offer an alternative to the localised offering of galleries and says it,

“uses the global platform of Instagram media to promote artists’ work across the world, ensuring that they get a greater audience without the heavy overheads and risks of a fixed location.”

Just the other day I was telling Mr John that he needs to get in touch with someone in America to start selling his Instragram pictures. While this isn’t quite what Apollo does directly, it’s a step in the right direction to promote local artists around the world. Well done Apollo team, you rock!

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