5 MUST-SEES AT THE ART FAIR

CityPress - - Opportunity index - CHARL BLIG­NAUT charl.blig­naut@city­press.co.za The fair ends to­day. Tick­ets cost R100

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.

GERALD MA­CHONA

THEM­BINKOSI GONIWE

CYRUS KABIRU

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