5 MUST-SEES AT THE ART FAIR
Art fever infected Joburg again this week, with galleries staging spectacular multimedia events and parties, and putting their finest works on show to coincide with the centre of festivities: the annual FNB Joburg Art Fair.
The line-up at the fair is determined by the galleries that have chosen to book a space at the Sandton Convention Centre and on what artists they are selling.
The good news is that we’re seeing an increasingly cutting edge PanAfrican offering, and more meaningful workshops and dialogues than ever before.
Only an intrepid reporter like yours truly would be ballsy enough to choose just five artists from the mountain of stunning work on offer.
1. PORTIA ZVAVAHERA
No-brainer, this. The Zimbabwean painter has received this year’s FNB Art Prize and is the gem in the fair’s crown this year. Her colourful, crude, expressionist paintings seem innocent at first, but they unpack a narrative of religion, marriage, childbirth and family that’s deeply affecting the longer you look. See her at the FNB stand.
2. CYRUS KABIRU
Kabiru is the hip darling of the fair. The self-taught Kenyan sculptor reinterprets eyewear using recycled material and Afro-futurist flair. He’s up there with Mozambican Gonçalo Mabunda, who makes furniture from reclaimed weapons, also on show this year (see how I snuck an extra pick in there?). See Kabiru at the
Smac Gallery stand.
3. DIALOGUES WITH MASTERS: VISUAL PERSPECTIVES ON TWO DECADES OF DEMOCRACY
Star curator Thembinkosi Goniwe has worked with a clutch of young contemporary artists and tasked them with reinterpreting important works by South African masters. The results – at the Grolsch stand – are fascinating.
4. LAGOS PHOTO
African photography is booming and the Lagos Photo show is at the heart of the matter. See the top young photographers gleaned from their master classes in Peregrinate: Field Notes on Time Travel and Space, as well as a selection of work that will be on show in Nigeria this year at the Pirelli stand. Oh and while you’re on photos, don’t forget Mikhael Subotzky’s stunning Ponte City project at the Goodman stand. Yes, I know I’m cheating.
5. GERALD MACHONA
As hip as Kabiru is Zimbabwe-born, South African-based performance artist and sculptor Gerald Machona. His trademark material is Zimbabwean currency. In his latest futuristic series, he has gone all Afronaut on it, making stunning spacesuits from money to address issues of being an alien in a difficult territory. A stylish and intelligent take on xenophobia.