PICHA: Painting a contemporary image of Africa, one picture at a time
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Picture of Josiane Faubert, Founder of PICHA

Let’s run an experiment. If you google “Africa”, besides the maps of the continent, about 10% of the first 400 images are safari pictures closely followed by stunning landscape pictures. In comes Josiane Faubert. Three years ago, the creative Entrepreneur, originally from Gabon, launched Pichastock – a photography marketplace with a mission: paint a contemporary image of Africa, one picture at a time. We spoke to her to find out more.

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Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga: Art as an invitation for dialogue
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naomi-wanjiku-gakunga-macakaya-lamentations-2013-16

We met the Kenyan born Artist Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga at the October Gallery, at the opening of her second solo show in London. It is organized on the heels of a busy schedule, after Art Paris Art Fair and Frieze New York.

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Sotheby’s launches its first Modern and Contemporary African Art Auction
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Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary African Art Auction

Contemporary African Art is booming with record number of exhibitions and fairs. Last year, Sotheby’s announced it was joining the fray with the creation of the department for Modern and Contemporary African Art headed by Hannah O’Leary. O’Leary brought with her a wealth of knowledge of the African Art market as she had spent a decade at Bonhams – The first international auction house to introduce a dedicated African Art Auction – Africa now.

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“Benchmarks” exhibition: An insight into the creative work of El Anatsui
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El Anatsui from the Eclipse Suite, Image Courtesy of the October GalleryThe Artist El Anatsui is famous for his large-scale sculptures, made of hundreds of flattened bottle tops intricately linked to one another that once installed, take the appearance of a textile draping a wall. In a departure from sculpture, he returns to the October Gallery with a new body of work: Prints created in collaboration with Factum Arte.

For years, the wooden tabletops in El Anatsui’s studio in Nigeria, have been the silent witnesses to the labour that went into creating his sculptures. They have preserved the traces and dents left behind by the repetitive cutting, flattening and piercing of the aluminum bottle-tops. And now, these wooden tops have been turned into story-tellers in the hands of Factum Arte in Madrid, where they were scanned and their textured surfaces turned into Prints.

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Africa is the Guest of honour of Art Paris Art Fair
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Art Paris Art FairOver the years, Art Paris Art Fair, has forged a reputation as a Spring Art fair that showcases both local talent and international artists, whose work is not readily accessible in France. The fair is staying true to that reputation by turning the spotlight on Africa, the ‘guest of honor’ of this year’s edition.

From March 30th to April 2nd, the fair will provide an in Depth view into the African Art scene through the work of about 100 artists of Africa and the Diaspora.

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South Africa: the art of a nation at the British Museum
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Car transformed into Ndebele Art

The exhibition, the art of a nation, retraces the chronological history of South Africa through art going back 3 million years, up to the emergence of what is known today as the Rainbow Nation. It is a myth busting display, challenging some long held beliefs in Art History.

3 Million years ago, a Human Ancestor in South Africa collected a face-like stone, The Makapansgat Pebble, probably on the sole merit of its shape and aesthetics. Some millions of years later, those who followed, had shaped ironstone into a hand axe (found in Kathu Pan) and shell beads into necklace. These exhibits, dating back respectively 100,000 and 78,000 years, demonstrate Humans’ early interest in Art and position South Africa as one of the artistic cradles of humanity.

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Malick Sidibé’s, first solo photography exhibition in London
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Malick Sidibé, the celebrated Malian photographer, passed away in 2016. In a lifetime dedicated to photography, he took a vast collection of pictures that shed a light on the major transformations that the Malian society had been through. In his black and white pictures, he captured the character and the essence of the youth of his country; exploding with joy, embracing modernity and pop culture. A selection of his pictures is now on display in London at Somerset House. “Malick Sidibé: the eye of modern Mali”, is the Artist’s first ever solo exhibition in the UK.

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A stop at the Fashion Cities Africa exhibition in Brighton
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Johannesburgh Display at the exhibition The term “African Fashion” has been bandied about lately. It covers, loosely, anything related to Africa and Fashion, such as Fashion Collections made using Dutch wax prints or African prints, clothing made on the continent or by African Designers.

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The Tunisian Embassy transformed into an Art Gallery
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Painting La Mer by Nidhal Chameh

What images spring to mind if you hear of Tunisia? The usual stereotypical ones would be of a sunny holiday destination or, more recently, the epicenter of the Arab Spring.

Now, a dynamic group of artists, whose work is being exhibited worldwide, are slowly painting an alternative image of their country: a thriving hub of Creativity and Arts. It is that image, that the Tunisian Embassy wanted to showcase to London when it was transformed into a temporary Art Gallery and opened its doors to the public on Wednesday, for the exhibition: Tunisia, The New Picture.

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AKAA: The first Contemporary African Art & Design Fair in Paris
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Entrance of the AKAA Fair in Paris

The first edition of the Contemporary African & Design fair – AKAA (Also Known as Africa) – was held from the 11th to 13th of November in Paris.

The objective of the fair, is to be a new platform for African artists to showcase their works to international collectors and to a wider public in order to gain the recognition they deserve. It is also part of a wider movement of people, determined to write a different narrative about Africa and counter what the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi called the “single story” of Africa.

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