Contemporary African Art

I just got back from a contemporary African art fair in Central London called 1-54.

It slightly depressed me as it was so far removed from the Africa I have experienced for the past two years. I had to remind myself that most art fairs are unrepresentative of life – real life. They exist in the ‘art world’. A very weird parallel universe where trash becomes treasure and prices are pulled out of the ether.

7-ear-splittingHazoume-Romuald-pigozzi-collection-231  Romuald-HazoumeĚ-Wax-Bandana-Found-objects-Private-Collection-Photo-Jonathan-Greet-October-Gallery-London-Copyright-Romuald-HazoumeĚ-DACS-hazoume_mip_09

Romauld Hazoume – Masks 1992 (Benin)

I imagined walking through the well dressed crowds with my host mother Fatou and trying to explain the point of it all to her. I couldn’t come up with a decent explanation in my imagination. In the gift store they were selling Baobab superfood bars for $2. How could I explain that to her, when she makes less than $2 harvesting a whole sack of Baobab fruit?

Being at the art fair also reminded me I have only glimpsed the tiniest slither of an image of Africa and I cannot begin to understand a continent from two years in a tiny village. But seeing such beautiful photographs definitely made me want to return and explore more.

067 Mohamed-and-Daughters-2009-100x35-cm-Courtesy-of-M.I.A-GalleryMaimuna Guerresi

32583-1400005240-32583-1399997522-Jean-Depara,-Dancers-and-General-de-Gaulle,-1963,-Gelatin-silver-print,-45-x-30-cm depara-9Jean Depara (Angola)

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