African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.

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Posts tagged "African Artists"

Get Early Access to the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair with Artsy.

On October 16th, one of the most exciting events in African art will be taking place in London.

The 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair is your chance to see works from 27 exhibitors who hail from countries all around the African continent. Over 100 different artists from all over the African continent will be exhibiting work at London’s Somerset House for the second edition of the annual 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. The list of presenting artists includes Athi-Patra Ruga, Barthelemy Toguo, Peju Alatise, Malick Sidibé, Lakin Ogunbanwo, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, Omar Victor Diop, Hassan Hajjaj, and of course, many, many more.

Thanks to the folks over at Artsy, whether or not you’ll be attending the exhibition, you can sort through their site which gives viewers a highly comprehensive overview of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. With Artsy, you browse works from all the exhibitors, download their app to use a personal guide to the fair, read highlights from the event as well as get insider information from members of the art world. There’s even a day-by-day guide.

I’ll admit to being initially jealous that this is happening on foreign soil and not somewhere on the continent, but this resource changes everything now. Plus, it’s thrilling to see African artists receive all this well-deserved attention.

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TRAILER: “Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace”.

New documentary investigates Wiley’s life and identity as it relates to his artwork and the Western hegemonic world of art in which he must navigate as a black African-American artist.

The film had its premiere in the US on PBS on September 5th so be sure to check your local listings to see when its on next. Don’t have PBS? US residents can try stream it online here.

ART | “Township Life” by Willie Bester.

In this series by Willie Bester, a Western Cape-born artist, he brings to life the everyday mundane activities of life in a South African township by adding rich and vibrant colours to a canvas that might otherwise seem dull.

(image source)

Dynamic Africa Global Events Listing: Arts.

Calling all lovers of African and Afro-diasporan art! Here are some of the current and upcoming art exhibitions on our radar happening all over the world!

Pangaea - “New Art From Africa and Latin America” at Saatchi Gallery, London.
2 April - 2 November.

Several highly renowned artists from Africa exhibit work alongside artists from Latin America. See works from the likes of Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Ibrahim Mahama, Mario Macilau, Vincent Michea and Boris Nzebo.

Zander Blom - “New Paintings” at Stevenson, Cape Town.
28 August - 4 October 2014.

Pretoria-born artist Zander Blom will be unveiling his latest work at the STEVENSON gallery in Cape Town. The exhibition opens on Thursday, August 28th from 6pm-8pm. Blom will give an exclusive walkabout of the exhibition on Friday, August 29th at 11am, at a cost of R20.

Pieter Hugo - “Kin” at Fundacio Colectania, Barcelona.
18 September - 10 December.

South African photographer Pieter Hugo will be exhibiting a selection of his work at the Fundacio Colectania in Barcelona, Spain, beginning on September 18th through to early December.

Zanele Muholi solo shows at the EinsteinHaus in Ulm, Germany
18 September - 25 October

See selections of South African photographer Zanele Muholi’s work that documents, investigates and explores the lives of black lesbians in South Africa.

"Artists Committed? Maybe" at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon.
21 June - 7 September.

Works from 21 different artists including Athi-Patra Ruga (South Africa), Bouchra Khalili (France/Morocco), Bruno Boudjelal (France/Algeria), Celestino Mudaulane (Mozambique), Conrad Botes (South Africa), Paul Edmunds (South Africa), Simon Gush (South Africa) and Wim Botha (South Africa).

"Revolution! Works from the Black Arts Movement" at the Brooklyn Museum, New York.
Long-term installation.

See a display of seven works by seven different artists who were part of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s in the United States.

Yinka Shonibare - “Egg Fight” at Centre d’Art de la Fondation Blachère, Apt.
23 May - 20 September.

Fondation Blachère is presenting a solo exhibition and new light installation by Yinka Shonibare MBE RA. The exhibition takes its cue from Shonibare’s installation Egg Fight (2009) recently acquired by Fondation Blachère.

Inspired by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver Travels, the piece is a satirical staging of the divisions between Protestants and Catholics through the argument over which end of a boiled egg should be broken, the large or small end. This work reflects Shonibare’s interest in addressing conflicting ideologies observed in culture, politics and society.

Exhibition Openings: Chris van Eeden, Sidy Diallo, Emma Nourse and Zina Saro-Wiwa at Brundyn+, Cape Town
4 September - 25 October

The following four concurrent exhibitions will be opening at Cape Town’s Brundyn+ starting September 4th:

Chris van Eeden - ‘Open’
Sidy Diallo - ‘Points et Itinéraires’
Emma Nourse -‘Pause’
Zina Saro-Wiwa -‘Phyllis’


Charles Gaines - “Gridwork 1974-1989” at Studio Museum Harlem, New York
17 July - October 26

An exhibition that features over 70 pieces of Charles Gaines’ early work in conceptualism from a career spanning over 40 years.

Gaines’ early experiments looked at the roles that systems and rule-based procedures play in the construction of forms, objects and meaning.

Nick Cave - “Made for Whites by Whites & Rescue” at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
4 September - 11 October

Informed by the racist memorabilia he encountered at flea markets and other second-hand shops whilst traveling through the United States, “Made for White by Whites” looks at these once commonplace racially charged objects and the place (and space) the occupy in the American consciousness.

"Rescue", the second part of Cave’s two-part double venue exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery, is composed of a series of “sculptures that incorporate found ceramic dogs sitting on furniture within elaborate grottos or dreamlike dens. Dogs have historically been associated with loyalty, class, breed, commitment, and protection. More recently, the term “dawg” has played a role in hip-hop culture as a moniker for brotherhood, respect, and power.”

Chris Ofili - “Night & Day” at New Museum, New York
29 October 2014 - 1 February 2015

The New Museum presents the first ever major solo exhibition of Afro-British artist Chris Ofili. The exhibition will span the Ofili’s career, from his work in painting and drawing, to sculpture, film and poetry.

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"A world without him" by Ugandan artist: Ronex Ahimbisbwe.

Works by Onitsha-born Nigerian sculptor and painter Ben Enwonwu.

Enwonwu’s body of work showcases an incredibly diverse range of art works, spanning over various mediums. Enwonwu also has a crater on the planet Mercury named after him. 

Enwonwu - his father a sculptor, his mother a cloth merchant and his son, Oliver Enwonwu also an artist in his own right - was surrounded by art in various forms growing up and all through his life. Throughout his art career, he dedicated himself to redefining the meanings and conversation surrounding ‘African art’ in the global art world and was once quoted as saying:

“Art is not static…Art changes its form with the times…African art has always, even long before western influence, continued to evolve through change and adapt to new circumstances.”

After first studying art at government colleges in Nigeria, and temporary relocating to England to further his studies at Goldsmiths University and Oxford University, Enwonwu returned to Nigeria in 1939 were he began to teach art at schools in Umuahia and Benin City. In 1948, he became an art adviser to the Nigerian government but left the country again in 1950 to tour and lecture in the United States where carried on working as a freelance artist.

In 1966, Enwonwu became editor of Nigeria Magazine and was also a fellow of Lagos University between 1966–68. He once again worked for the Nigerian government, this time post-independence, as a cultural advisor between 1968–71. He was appointed the first professor of Fine Arts at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, from 1971 to 1975, and was also an art consultant to the International Secretariat, Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC), Lagos, 1977.

Enwonwu is also well-known for his illustration of the cover of noted Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola’s novel The Brave African Huntress.

A pioneering force in the rhetoric surrounding the early Modern African Art movement of the 20th century, Enwonwu passed away in 1994. His work is displayed in the National Gallery of Modern Art, Lagos and can also be viewed at the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu, M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994) ‘Princes of Mali’.

The above work draws inspiration from poet Leopold Sedar Senghor’s 1945 work Femme Noire. While in France, Enwonwu interacted with Leopold Sedar Senghor and the Antillean poet Aime Cesaire whose ideology of Negritude, described an emergent sense of black pride.

The philosophy Negritude called for political action designed to overturn the colonial subjugation of continental and Diaspora Africans. Enwonwu adopted Senghor’s ideas about Pan - African cultural emancipation and became a close friend to the future statesman.

Senghor’s Femme Noire is an ode to the black woman, but most importantly, it is a song of praise to Senegal, his country. Its veneration of the image of the black woman as an embodiment of African ideals coincided with Enwonwu’s deployment of indigenous Igbo concepts of beauty and feminine power. For Enwonwu, Negritude did not necessarily imply adherence to specific forms but to ideas of black empowerment and emancipation, essentially the philosophical, political and aesthetic issues pertaining to Negritude, served as “the revitalization of African force”.

In this artwork, Enwonwu welds indigenous notions of power to political demands for black empowerment. The vibrancy and movement of the figures represents Enwonwu’s accordance with the inherent philosophies of the Negritude philosophy: emancipation and celebration of the Africans and their land. The vibrancy of colour which collides to yield new forms, permeates the social and cultural fabric of African societies. This work expresses the present state of neo-African culture, which includes Enwonwu’s heritage of indigenous Igbo and Nigerian art, his formal academic training and his transitional modernist practice, insights acquired from his analysis of European Modern art, and influences derived from his engagement with rhetoric of Senghor’s Negritude.

(via Bonhams)

Illustration by South African artist Atang Tshikare of Zabalzaa Designs.


Because Moroccan visual artist Hassan Hajjaj knows we can’t get enough of his dynamic ‘Kesh Angels' series, he revisited and re-made the project using Barbie dolls, along with other brands and icons of Western culture that are not only recognizable worldwide, but have also come to shape global popular culture.

The London-based artist does, however, extend this narrative on post-colonialism and the impacts of globalisation by retaining certain aesthetic elements of both Arab and Moroccan culture in the manner of dress he’s chosen for the dolls, and attitudes these women (albeit plastic ones) convey.

In Photos: “Family Album” by Mamaki Rakotsoana.

This series of images by South African photographer Mamaki Rakotsoana is a project in which she took her deceased father’s photographs and reproduced them in a manner that investigates her relationship to him, as well as his relationship to the women in his life.

Xhosa Names & Meanings: The “ABC’s of Xhosa Names” by Thandiwe Tshabalala.

South African Illustrator and incredibly talented young creative Thandiwe Tshabalala recently sent me these awesome gifs highlighting and celebrating beautiful names in her mother tongue of Xhosa.

Here’s what she had to say about her series:

"Way back, when apartheid was taking place in South Africa, parents used to give their kids English names so that white people wouldn’t have to struggle pronouncing African names. Most people born during the times of apartheid were given names like: Knowledge, Margaret, Mavis (which has negative connotations), Innocentia, Innocent, Jeffrey, Gloria…eek..Let me just stop there. However, when black folks got their ‘freedom’ back, they went back to naming their children African/South African names."

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All Africa, All the time.

South African ultra-customiser, illustrator and graphic designer Atang Tshikare.

Longboard decks and sneakers customised by Bloemfontein-born South Africa graphic designer, illustrator, graffiti artist, customiser and founder of Zabalazaa, Atang Tshikare.

Atang has customised and illustrated on various mediums and items, from canvas boards and furniture, to sneakers and bicycles. 

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All Africa, All the time.

Nandipha Mntambo - “Praça de Touros" (2008).

Shot in the now abandoned Praça de Touros arena in Maputo where black Mozambicans once fought for the entertainment of the colonial Portuguese, Mntambo rehearses the steps and takes on the persona of a professional bullfighter - a role usually reserved for men.

Where no animal is present, Mntambo dons an animal hide on her back suggesting that in the absence of an actual bull, she is both the fighter and the victim, the hunter and the hunted, both the fear and the feared in a scenario where neither occupant had agency over their being in the ring and the consequence of what lay ahead. 

About the cowhide, Nandipha says, “I have used cowhide as a means to subvert expected associations with corporeal presence, femininity, sexuality and vulnerability.”

Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland in 1982 but grew up in Johannesburg. She obtained a Masters in Fine Arts from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town in 2007, and in 2011, she was chosen as the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art .

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All Africa, All the time.

Unique furniture designs by Senegalese artist Babacar M’Bodj Niang.

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All Africa, All the time.

Art by Michael Soi.