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Africa's growing place on global contemporary art scene.

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

The taste of contemporary art collectors has been shifting to the South for over a decade. The contemporary arts of Africa are more attractive and the artists are more and more presents in European fairs, galleries and museums.

Between October and December 2018, fairs 1-54 (London) and AKAA (Paris) have become accustomed to gather artists, gallery owners and collectors of contemporary African art scene. These occasions are opportunities to see great names of the art scene like the Ivorian photographer Ananias Leki Dago and unveil the new initiates as Moustapha Baidi Oumarou (Cameroonian painter).

Contemporary artists are also pushing the doors of traditional institutions. It is quite common today to compare classic and modern productions during exhibitions. In 2017, the exhibition "Africa of Roads" at Quai Branly Museum (Paris) closed on the Yinka Shonibaré (Anglo-Nigerian plastic artist) installation La Méduse. Artists from the African continent or the diaspora are now present in museums. They establish the bridge between common problems of both worlds: migration, ecology, urbanism. Tate Modern (London) inaugurated this emergence by inviting, in 2013, the Nigerian Otobang Nkanga to perform a performance in its new premises. Today in Tate Modern’s permanent exhibitionsyou will find works by Ghanaian El Anatsui, Cameroonian Barthélémy Toguo or Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu.

However, African artists do not shine enough from their own continent, but expose themselves in the network of Western capitals (Paris, London, Berlin, New York). African scenes, such as Dakar Biennale (Senegal), 1 :54 Marrakech (Morroco) or Cape Town Art Fair (South Africa), were created to attract the network to more southern regions. It is now necessary to build a market for general African art, so that beyond the individuality of the artist the continent develops a base on the international scene.

 

By Maxence Zabo

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Africa's growing place on global contemporary art scene.

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

The taste of contemporary art collectors has been shifting to the South for over a decade. The contemporary arts of Africa are more attractive and the artists are more and more presents in European fairs, galleries and museums.

Between October and December 2018, fairs 1-54 (London) and AKAA (Paris) have become accustomed to gather artists, gallery owners and collectors of contemporary African art scene. These occasions are opportunities to see great names of the art scene like the Ivorian photographer Ananias Leki Dago and unveil the new initiates as Moustapha Baidi Oumarou (Cameroonian painter).

Contemporary artists are also pushing the doors of traditional institutions. It is quite common today to compare classic and modern productions during exhibitions. In 2017, the exhibition "Africa of Roads" at Quai Branly Museum (Paris) closed on the Yinka Shonibaré (Anglo-Nigerian plastic artist) installation La Méduse. Artists from the African continent or the diaspora are now present in museums. They establish the bridge between common problems of both worlds: migration, ecology, urbanism. Tate Modern (London) inaugurated this emergence by inviting, in 2013, the Nigerian Otobang Nkanga to perform a performance in its new premises. Today in Tate Modern’s permanent exhibitionsyou will find works by Ghanaian El Anatsui, Cameroonian Barthélémy Toguo or Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu.

However, African artists do not shine enough from their own continent, but expose themselves in the network of Western capitals (Paris, London, Berlin, New York). African scenes, such as Dakar Biennale (Senegal), 1 :54 Marrakech (Morroco) or Cape Town Art Fair (South Africa), were created to attract the network to more southern regions. It is now necessary to build a market for general African art, so that beyond the individuality of the artist the continent develops a base on the international scene.

 

By Maxence Zabo

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Ouattara Watts, histoire d'un succès

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

L’artiste peintre de renommée internationale Ouattara Watts a fait parler de lui lors de son retour en Côte-d’Ivoire, son pays natal, après une longue absence. Deux expositions ont en effet été organisées à la fin de l’année 2018 à Abidjan : l’une à la Rotonde des Arts, centre dédié à l’art contemporain, et l’autre à la galerie Cécile Fakhoury.

Le plasticien jouit d’un grand succès dans le monde entier. Ses compositions monumentales mêlent la peinture à des objets récupérés et à des matériaux bruts. L’artiste utilise des formes dynamiques et des couleurs soutenues. Il y ajoute des idéogrammes et des symboles hypnotiques qui se réfèrent, selon lui, au cosmos. Ses toiles sont le support d’exploration des liens spirituels qui transcendent les nationalités et les territoires et abolissent les classifications. Ainsi y évoque-t-il son identité multiculturelle, lui qui ne se classe dans aucun mouvement ni aucune école. Ce plasticien revendique sa liberté en refusant de rentrer dans une catégorie ou d’être labellisé comme un artiste noir africain ou américain. La musique a un rôle singulier dans son travail : l’artiste peint en effet en écoutant du jazz, du reggae, des chants populaires ou encore de l’afrobeat, qui constituent autant de sources d’inspiration. Il a par exemple réalisé la toile Oté-fê après avoir écouté un album de reggae d’Alpha Blondy. Dans cette toile, il évoque le pillage des matières premières du continent africain, et la dégradation de ce dernier.

Au début de sa carrière, Ouattara Watts ne souhaite pas exposer immédiatement ses oeuvres dans des galeries. Cependant, il se constitue tout de même une clientèle remarquable, parmi lesquels figurent le réalisateur et photographe franco-espagnol Claude Picasso et la designer et architecte d’intérieur Andrée Putman. Après sa rencontre décisive avec le peintre américain Jean-Michel Basquiat en 1988, sa renommée ne va cesser de croître au fil des expositions où sera montré son travail. Dès 1993, il est présent à la Biennale de Venise, puis exposé à la galerie Gagosian, à New York, en 1995. En 2002 il est représenté à la Biennale du Whitney à New York. La galerie Boulakia, à Paris, expose ses œuvres en 2015 et la valeur de ses toiles est alors estimée entre 27 000 et 100 000 euros. Son succès augmente au fur et à mesure des années, et ses toiles sont de plus en plus appréciées. On le retrouve dans l’exposition « Afriques Capitales » à La Villette à Paris en 2017, dont la motivation première est de montrer le vrai visage du continent en sortant des clichés de l’exotisme. La même année, lors de la première vente d’art africain contemporain organisée par Sotheby’s à Londres, l’une de ses toiles est achetée pour 34 000 euros.

Son œuvre attire à présent les collectionneurs du monde entier et il est aujourd’hui, selon la galeriste Cécile Fakhoury, l’artiste ivoirien le plus coté.  

Article écrit par Chloé Fayette.

 

 

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Ouattara Watts, histoire d'un succès

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

L’artiste peintre de renommée internationale Ouattara Watts a fait parler de lui lors de son retour en Côte-d’Ivoire, son pays natal, après une longue absence. Deux expositions ont en effet été organisées à la fin de l’année 2018 à Abidjan : l’une à la Rotonde des Arts, centre dédié à l’art contemporain, et l’autre à la galerie Cécile Fakhoury.

Le plasticien jouit d’un grand succès dans le monde entier. Ses compositions monumentales mêlent la peinture à des objets récupérés et à des matériaux bruts. L’artiste utilise des formes dynamiques et des couleurs soutenues. Il y ajoute des idéogrammes et des symboles hypnotiques qui se réfèrent, selon lui, au cosmos. Ses toiles sont le support d’exploration des liens spirituels qui transcendent les nationalités et les territoires et abolissent les classifications. Ainsi y évoque-t-il son identité multiculturelle, lui qui ne se classe dans aucun mouvement ni aucune école. Ce plasticien revendique sa liberté en refusant de rentrer dans une catégorie ou d’être labellisé comme un artiste noir africain ou américain. La musique a un rôle singulier dans son travail : l’artiste peint en effet en écoutant du jazz, du reggae, des chants populaires ou encore de l’afrobeat, qui constituent autant de sources d’inspiration. Il a par exemple réalisé la toile Oté-fê après avoir écouté un album de reggae d’Alpha Blondy. Dans cette toile, il évoque le pillage des matières premières du continent africain, et la dégradation de ce dernier.

Au début de sa carrière, Ouattara Watts ne souhaite pas exposer immédiatement ses oeuvres dans des galeries. Cependant, il se constitue tout de même une clientèle remarquable, parmi lesquels figurent le réalisateur et photographe franco-espagnol Claude Picasso et la designer et architecte d’intérieur Andrée Putman. Après sa rencontre décisive avec le peintre américain Jean-Michel Basquiat en 1988, sa renommée ne va cesser de croître au fil des expositions où sera montré son travail. Dès 1993, il est présent à la Biennale de Venise, puis exposé à la galerie Gagosian, à New York, en 1995. En 2002 il est représenté à la Biennale du Whitney à New York. La galerie Boulakia, à Paris, expose ses œuvres en 2015 et la valeur de ses toiles est alors estimée entre 27 000 et 100 000 euros. Son succès augmente au fur et à mesure des années, et ses toiles sont de plus en plus appréciées. On le retrouve dans l’exposition « Afriques Capitales » à La Villette à Paris en 2017, dont la motivation première est de montrer le vrai visage du continent en sortant des clichés de l’exotisme. La même année, lors de la première vente d’art africain contemporain organisée par Sotheby’s à Londres, l’une de ses toiles est achetée pour 34 000 euros.

Son œuvre attire à présent les collectionneurs du monde entier et il est aujourd’hui, selon la galeriste Cécile Fakhoury, l’artiste ivoirien le plus coté.  

Article écrit par Chloé Fayette.

 

 

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"Enfants soldats" exhibition at Drouot

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

Afikaris is proud to support Drouot and « Fondation Invisible Borders » for « Enfants soldats » exhibition in Hotel Drouot in Paris. This show celebrating the launch of the "Fondation Invisible Borders" gatheris a group of very talented African contemporary artists: Aboudia, Saint Etienne Yeanzi, Jean David Nkot, Armand Boua, Bruce Clarke, Eric Bottero, Médéric Turay, Gonçalo Mabunda and Boris Nzebo.

For the event, these artists specifically produced an engaged work around "Children soldiers" and childhood. This is one of the guideline of this new foundation launched by Benjamin Noel: "Art doesn't have to always be engaged, but we want to show that artists can work together on strong themes and spread a powerful message."

Dates: 4-12 February (open from Monday to Friday)
Place: Hôtel Drouot, Paris (room 9)

 

"Enfants Soldats" exhibition at Drouot

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"Enfants soldats" exhibition at Drouot

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

Afikaris is proud to support Drouot and « Fondation Invisible Borders » for « Enfants soldats » exhibition in Hotel Drouot in Paris. This show celebrating the launch of the "Fondation Invisible Borders" gatheris a group of very talented African contemporary artists: Aboudia, Saint Etienne Yeanzi, Jean David Nkot, Armand Boua, Bruce Clarke, Eric Bottero, Médéric Turay, Gonçalo Mabunda and Boris Nzebo.

For the event, these artists specifically produced an engaged work around "Children soldiers" and childhood. This is one of the guideline of this new foundation launched by Benjamin Noel: "Art doesn't have to always be engaged, but we want to show that artists can work together on strong themes and spread a powerful message."

Dates: 4-12 February (open from Monday to Friday)
Place: Hôtel Drouot, Paris (room 9)

 

"Enfants Soldats" exhibition at Drouot

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The growing commitment of African visual artists.

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

Long remained the prerogative of African singers and musicians, such as Fela Kuti or Angélique Kidjo, political commitment is now claimed by visual artists. Would the brush have replaced the microphone in Africa?

Whether it is the environment, the civil wars and the migrations they entail, artists create to warn, to accuse. The remarks are topical and find an echo in the history of the continent. They appeal to local know-how and pop culture. Anglo-Nigerian Yinka Shonibaré mixes fabrics with colorful motifs in Dutch wax and the figures of the painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard in The Swing (2001, London). He points to postcolonial hybridity in Africa, a frustrating search for identity.

In Benin, Romuald Hazoumé illustrates this hybridity with his series of masks-cans. Diverting the typologies of Beninese traditional masks, he accuses Western consumerism. Africa pollutes little, but undergoes everything: the toxic wastes on the coasts, advance of the desert, deforestation.

By exhibiting in western galleries, artists ask questions with international resonance. Population migrations and their precarious situation have recently caused scandal with the sale of slaves in Libya. These dramas were already announced, in 2017, by the Cameroonian artist Jean David Nkot in the painting Explorer's feet. Feet of anonymous and powerless travelers engaged in the fatal crossing of the Mediterranean. Art challenges both local rulers who compete for wealth, and the international community insensitive to widespread violence. Thus, the Ivorian artist Médéric Turay borrows the vibrant palette of the American Basquiat, in his series Corruption. He paints the power of notes, that of turning men into monsters eager for currency. 

Artists put their art at the service of their pan-African compatriots. If the cause is noble, are they sufficiently heard from these? On the continent, policies of access to culture still sound like a false note.

The Swing (after Fragonard), Yinka Shonibaré (2001)

The Swing (after Fragonard), Yinka Shonibaré (2001) exhibited to Tate Britain in 2004.

 

Masques bidons, Romual Hazoumé (2015) présentés à l’exposition Picasso Mania au Grand Palais (Paris 2015)

Masks-cans, Romual Hazoumé (2015) exhibited at Picasso Mania show at  Grand Palais (Paris 2015).

 

Exploreers’feet, Jean David Nkot (2017), Cameroun. Afikaris.com

Exploreers’feet, Jean David Nkot (2017), Cameroon (afikaris.com).

 

Over my dead body, Médéric Turay (2018), Côte d’Ivoire. Présenté par Afikaris à l’exposition Invisible Borders.

Over my dead body, Médéric Turay (2018), Ivory Coast. Exhibited by Afikaris during Invisible Borders show.

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The growing commitment of African visual artists.

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

Long remained the prerogative of African singers and musicians, such as Fela Kuti or Angélique Kidjo, political commitment is now claimed by visual artists. Would the brush have replaced the microphone in Africa?

Whether it is the environment, the civil wars and the migrations they entail, artists create to warn, to accuse. The remarks are topical and find an echo in the history of the continent. They appeal to local know-how and pop culture. Anglo-Nigerian Yinka Shonibaré mixes fabrics with colorful motifs in Dutch wax and the figures of the painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard in The Swing (2001, London). He points to postcolonial hybridity in Africa, a frustrating search for identity.

In Benin, Romuald Hazoumé illustrates this hybridity with his series of masks-cans. Diverting the typologies of Beninese traditional masks, he accuses Western consumerism. Africa pollutes little, but undergoes everything: the toxic wastes on the coasts, advance of the desert, deforestation.

By exhibiting in western galleries, artists ask questions with international resonance. Population migrations and their precarious situation have recently caused scandal with the sale of slaves in Libya. These dramas were already announced, in 2017, by the Cameroonian artist Jean David Nkot in the painting Explorer's feet. Feet of anonymous and powerless travelers engaged in the fatal crossing of the Mediterranean. Art challenges both local rulers who compete for wealth, and the international community insensitive to widespread violence. Thus, the Ivorian artist Médéric Turay borrows the vibrant palette of the American Basquiat, in his series Corruption. He paints the power of notes, that of turning men into monsters eager for currency. 

Artists put their art at the service of their pan-African compatriots. If the cause is noble, are they sufficiently heard from these? On the continent, policies of access to culture still sound like a false note.

The Swing (after Fragonard), Yinka Shonibaré (2001)

The Swing (after Fragonard), Yinka Shonibaré (2001) exhibited to Tate Britain in 2004.

 

Masques bidons, Romual Hazoumé (2015) présentés à l’exposition Picasso Mania au Grand Palais (Paris 2015)

Masks-cans, Romual Hazoumé (2015) exhibited at Picasso Mania show at  Grand Palais (Paris 2015).

 

Exploreers’feet, Jean David Nkot (2017), Cameroun. Afikaris.com

Exploreers’feet, Jean David Nkot (2017), Cameroon (afikaris.com).

 

Over my dead body, Médéric Turay (2018), Côte d’Ivoire. Présenté par Afikaris à l’exposition Invisible Borders.

Over my dead body, Médéric Turay (2018), Ivory Coast. Exhibited by Afikaris during Invisible Borders show.

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"Invisible Borders" exhibition, 15-25th November at Nelly Wandji's Gallery

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

AFIKARIS presents

 

Invisible Borders

Thursday 15th - Sunday 25th November

 

Nelly WANDJI Gallery

93 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

75008 Paris


The paths of creators always end up crossing, isn't contemporary creativity itself at crossroads? Without doubt, their different eyes on the question of the future of a continent whose vivacity and creative dynamism are today at the center of the interest and curiosity of the world, but these borders exist only in the imagination, or in the singularity of creative processes. Indeed, for all these artists, all from African countries, the common history and societal changes are a universal sharing. The only border that  exists between them, is their itineraries, invisible borders.


Artists' selection

ABOUDIA / ASIKO / YEANZI / JEAN-DAVID NKOT / BRUCE CLARKE / GONÇALO MABUNDA / MEDERIC TURAY / GOPAL DAGNOGO / ONYIS MARTIN / ERIC BOTTERO and more


 

Opening

 

Wednesday, November 14th from 6pm

 

CONFIRM YOUR PRESENCE

Artworks' Selection

BRUCE CLARKE

Painting

YEANZI

Painting

ONYIS MARTIN

Painting

ASIKO

Photography

GOPAL DAGNOGO

Painting

MEDERIC TURAY

Painting

Jean David Nkot

JEAN DAVID NKOT
Painting

Gonçalo Mabunda

GONÇALO MABUNDA

Sculpture

Eric Bottero

ERIC BOTTERO

Photography & Sculpture

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"Invisible Borders" exhibition, 15-25th November at Nelly Wandji's Gallery

Posted by Florian Azzopardi on

AFIKARIS presents

 

Invisible Borders

Thursday 15th - Sunday 25th November

 

Nelly WANDJI Gallery

93 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

75008 Paris


The paths of creators always end up crossing, isn't contemporary creativity itself at crossroads? Without doubt, their different eyes on the question of the future of a continent whose vivacity and creative dynamism are today at the center of the interest and curiosity of the world, but these borders exist only in the imagination, or in the singularity of creative processes. Indeed, for all these artists, all from African countries, the common history and societal changes are a universal sharing. The only border that  exists between them, is their itineraries, invisible borders.


Artists' selection

ABOUDIA / ASIKO / YEANZI / JEAN-DAVID NKOT / BRUCE CLARKE / GONÇALO MABUNDA / MEDERIC TURAY / GOPAL DAGNOGO / ONYIS MARTIN / ERIC BOTTERO and more


 

Opening

 

Wednesday, November 14th from 6pm

 

CONFIRM YOUR PRESENCE

Artworks' Selection

BRUCE CLARKE

Painting

YEANZI

Painting

ONYIS MARTIN

Painting

ASIKO

Photography

GOPAL DAGNOGO

Painting

MEDERIC TURAY

Painting

Jean David Nkot

JEAN DAVID NKOT
Painting

Gonçalo Mabunda

GONÇALO MABUNDA

Sculpture

Eric Bottero

ERIC BOTTERO

Photography & Sculpture

Read more