A plunge into the deep blue submarine world of Arnold Fokam
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Arnold Fokam, AquariHomme at Goethe Institute in Yaoundé
Arnold Fokam, AquariHomme at Goethe Institute in Yaoundé

AquariHomme, an exhibition at the Goethe Institute in Yaoundé, plunges viewers into the whimsical world of the artist Arnold Fokam. This alternate blue world is inhabited by aquatic chimeras that are half-human and half sea-creatures. Here, underwater, these female creatures nurture a different kind of life. Their see-through bodies are the seats of thriving marine life. Pink, green and yellow foliage fills out their bodies and, at times, stretches out, contrasting elegantly with the ambient deep blue of marine life. 

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Your ultimate guide to exhibitions by Black artists in London in October
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Alexis Peskine, Moto wa Uhanini, 2020. Mixed media, 150 x 150 cm. Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery, London
Alexis Peskine, Moto wa Uhanini, 2020. Mixed media, 150 x 150 cm. Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery, London

Museums and art galleries in London have slowly emerged from the shadows that Covid-19 plunged them into in March. Even if the threat of the pandemic and the economic hardship it has brought are still lurking, so far, the contemporary African scene has been resilient and weathered the storm. Case in point, the specialist art fair 1:54 Contemporary African Art will be the odd one out when it opens the doors of Somerset House to African art collectors.

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A new contemporary African art show, There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling at the edge of the world,” explores the liminal space occupied by the Black diaspora
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Swimming in the Lagos Marina, Chukwudubem Ukaigwe, 2020. Exhibition There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling at the Edge of the World. Courtesy Kanbi Projects
Swimming in the Lagos Marina, Chukwudubem Ukaigwe, 2020. Exhibition There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling at the Edge of the World. Courtesy Kanbi Projects.

Kanbi Projects, in collaboration with The Koppel Project Exchange, presents “There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling at the edge of the world,” a new show that examines Black Diasporic experiences through the visual narratives of four emerging Black artists: Ekene Maduka, Austin Uzor, Tobi Alexandra Falade, and Chukwudubem Ukaigwe.

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Artist Elom 20ce reasserts art and culture as vital vessels to reformulate African identities
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Exhibition Le Silence est un Cri (Silence is a Scream)
Exhibition Le Silence est un Cri (Silence is a Scream)

Away from economic considerations, young Togolese artist Elom 20ce is on a quest to reposition art and culture as essential vessels to reformulate African identities and self-worth.

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Ebonyx, a new Afrocentric platform, merges culture and eCommerce
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Ebonyx eCommerce Platform bami2
Bami on Ebonyx eCommerce Platform

The eCommerce platform is dedicated to showcasing brands whose products are rooted in African aesthetics.

 

Ebony is the name of a precious and dark wood, originating from ancient Egypt. Its luxurious texture made it a favourite material for carving decorative items. Over the centuries, the wood’s deep black features have transformed its name into a shorthand for Black identity.  The derivative, Ebonyx, is a fitting name for the new eCommerce platform championing brands whose products, aesthetics, and imageries are rooted in “Black Atlantic” heritage. In a phone conversation, Ashley Ebanks, co-founder of Ebonyx, explained: “We wanted to bring the African culture and the designs of Africa, […] the Caribbean and South America to the world.” 

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Spread the joy of experiencing contemporary African art from the comfort of your home.
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Billie ZANGEWA Soldier of Love , 2020, Soie brodée / Embroidered silk ©Courtesy Templon, Paris – Brussels
Billie ZANGEWA, Soldier of Love, 2020, Soie brodée / Embroidered silk © Courtesy Templon, Paris – Brussels

 

Welcome to the first of #Artinthetimeofcovid19 series.

Let’s face it: things are rather grim in the world right now. The death toll caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge. Meanwhile, businesses and public spaces have had to shut down as part of an extensive set of sanitary measures designed to contain the disease. These measures are saving our lives while sadly endangering our livelihood. And now, ongoing confinement has started taking its toll on people’s mental health.

We can’t change this gloomy climate. However, we can create within it, a virtual space of escapism: one that transports us into studios, exhibition spaces, or into gripping visual tales. #Artinthetimeofcovid19 

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3 Career-boosting opportunities for African artists
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Entrance Macaal Museum Marrakech
Entrance Macaal (Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden) in Marrakech

The longer days in Europe, or the preparations for the cultural festivals on the continent all evoke the end of a season. Before we all delve into this joyous and restful period, there is a last ditch of effort to make. Here is a trio of career-enhancing opportunities for African Artists and those of the Diaspora to apply for. If you are a visual artist, a curator read on, and good luck on your art journey.

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5 New Contemporary African Art exhibitions to check out this month in London
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Lionel Smit, Aligned, 2019, Oil on Linen, Image courtesy of Everard Read London
Lionel Smit, Aligned, 2019, Oil on Linen, Image courtesy of Everard Read London

May in London could feel like an anticlimax; wedged between the Venice Biennale and the much-awaited Frank Bowling’s retrospective at the Tate; closely followed by the June blockbuster exhibition “Get Up Stand Up Now” at Somerset House, that will explore the last 50 years of “black creativity in London.”

However, the city is bristling with new exhibitions from established and up and coming artists, most of which fortuitously engage with issues of identity, representation, and memory. Here is a selection of 5 newly opened contemporary African Art exhibitions to check out this month.

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A new narrative of Nigerian Femininity and womanhood by Ayobola Kekere-Ekun
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Priviledge the Abridged edition, Ayobola Kekere-Ekun
Priviledge the Abridged edition, Ayobola Kekere-Ekun

Besides the bold and vivid colors, the most striking elements of Ayobola Kekere-Ekun’s figurative works are the myriad of lines sculpted out of paper. The curvaceous lines run harmoniously in parallel turning in unison inwards or outwards and at times, come to an abrupt halt to delineate the face, and reveal the facial expressions of the characters in the painting.

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Frieze week: 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair debuts in Manhattan
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Alexis Peskine, Nkisi, 2018.
Alexis Peskine, Details Nkisi, 2018, October Gallery.

1:54 Contemporary African Art fair returns to New York for its milestone fifth anniversary with a move from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Since its inception, the fair has leveraged the pivotal Frieze Week in London and New York to bolster its ability to attract an increasing number of international collectors and visitors.

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