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Werk van beeldend kunstenaars Remy Jungerman (1959) en Iris Kensmil (1970), door curator Benno Tempel samengebracht in een gezamenlijke presentatie, is geselecteerd als de Nederlandse inzending voor de 58e editie van de Biënnale van Venetië, die in 2019 zal plaatsvinden. De selectie van deze tentoonstelling met als titel ‘The Measurement of Presence’ is bekendgemaakt door het Mondriaan Fonds dat daarbij werd geadviseerd door een internationale jury. Read more:


In 2008 maakt Renzo Martens (Terneuzen, 1973) de film Episode 3, beter bekend als Enjoy Poverty, waarin hij stelt dat armoede Afrika’s grootste exportproduct is. Een product waar niet het land zelf, maar de Westerse wereld aan verdient.

Enjoy Poverty kreeg veel commentaar van ontwikkelingshulporganisaties, die vonden dat Martens zich met deze film evengoed debet maakte aan het uitbuiten van arme mensen. Een geluid dat juist raakt aan Martens’ punt: “De wereld zoals die is kan ik niet veranderen, maar ik kan wel proberen om een zo adequaat mogelijk beeld te geven van de wereld zoals die volgens mij is.” Read more:

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Renzo Martens, Episode III – Enjoy Poverty, 2008. DVD still.

The first thing that struck me about Renzo Martens’ new film Episode III – Enjoy Poverty (2008) – confusingly, the second in a trilogy – is the artist’s resemblance to the young Klaus Kinski. The numerous close-ups of his sweaty, troubled face (filmed by the artist himself on a hand-held digital camera) echo those of Kinski in Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), Fitzcarraldo (1982) and Cobra Verde (1987). The second thing that struck me, despite its supposed exploration of the exploitation of third world poverty by aid organizations and news agencies, is how the film rehearses themes present in Herzog’s films. Each depicts a European living outside their comfort zone struggling to assert themselves in harsh, unfamiliar terrain, and ultimately realizing the futility of their endeavours. Read more:

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For the best part of a decade, South African artist Nelson Makamo has had a deal with his 11 year-old cousin, Mapule Maoto. He pays for her studies, and she agrees to model for his colorful paintings. Today, with fans all over the world praising his work, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey, it’s turned out to be a pretty good deal.

The latest painting that Mapule has inspired is Makamo’s cover for TIME’s 2019 Optimists issue, guest edited by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Optimism is a natural fit for Makamo’s work, which has for several years largely focused on young children from rural South Africa. “Later on in life we sometimes forget there’s beauty in being a human being,” he says, speaking from his home in Johannesburg. “But children are just discovering that.” Read more:

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The highly anticipated Global Citizen Festival finally came and went at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on 2 December 2018. The event was part of the weekend celebrations to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday anniversary and to honour his legacy of fighting poverty to the end. The event featured high profile celebrities such as Oprah, our very own Trevor Noah, Bonang Matheba, Danai Gurira, Jay-Z and Beyoncè, Pharell Williams, Naomi Campbell, Usher, DJ Black Coffee and many more. Organised by the Motsepe Foundation, it attracted more than 200 000 ‘engaged’ citizens that are heeding the call to help eradicate extreme poverty by the end of 2030. During the festival, it was announced that more than $7,1 billion dollars/R100 billion has been pledged for this cause.

The performances were amazing, from Sho Madjozi’s on-fire set,  Ed Sheeran and Beyoncè’s dazzling duet, not forgetting Bey’s insane remix of hit ‘Halo’ featuring a Mzansi choir.  We also loved Usher’s mesmerizing moves that incorporated the Vosho and the Gwaragwara. However, we were quite taken with the fact that mama Oprah, Gayle King, Ava Duvernay and Kelly Rowland (who was gifted with a Nelson Makamo piece, see below) amongst others—made time to visit Nelson Makamo’s studio and actually purchased some of his coveted masterpieces. Read More:

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South African well-respected artist, Nelson Makamo is set to be bestowed with the highest honour at the prestigious Harvard University. The Limpopo born artist will be awarded a Vanguard Award by the Harvard African Students Association.

Nelson will also be required to deliver a lecture about the future of Art in Africa. His work has enjoyed quite a lot of exhibitions in various international spaces including, Netherlands, Italy and Scotland, just to mention a few.
The Johannesburg based art maverick has been lauded for creating art that is thought provoking and progressive. Read more:

ART FAIRS | Cosmos Shiridzinomwa and Georgina Maxim are the first artists to be confirmed at the Venice Biennale | The Art Newspaper

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“Several of Shiridzinomwa’s works are currently on show at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town, in an exhibition of Zimbabwean art titled Five Bhobh: Painting at the End of an Era (until 31 March). In the show, his works include Dying Faculties (2006), depicting a man with his head in his hands in what is presumably an HIV/Aids ward, and Mugabe’s Closet (2008), where an open door shows a well-worn jacket hanging over a pile of books and a human skull peeking out from underneath. A museum label describes the work as “a metaphor for politically sensitive matters that in the past could not be expressed openly”. Read More:

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In 1997, Meschac Gaba (Benin, 1961) launched the first sketches of his Museum of Contemporary African Art. The Museum provides an alternative to the colonial context in which western museums display African art. So far, Gaba has installed several museum departments, amongst others a play-room (SMAK, Ghent, Belgium), a museum shop (Traffique, Ghent, Belgium), a restaurant (W139, Amsterdam), the museum architecture (Gate Foundation, Amsterdam) and an audio room (Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht).

In Witte de With, Gaba presented the seventh chapter (out of twelve) of his project: the Museum LibraryThe Library, whose collection of books stems from donations by museums, art institutions and galleries, covered an entire floor at Witte de With, and incorporated a children’s area, a curatorial section, and an interactive space.

The exhibition is accompanied by a monograph, entitled Library of the Museum: Museum of Contemporary African Art, published by Foundation Artimo with essays by, among others, Chris Dercon, Sebastian Lopéz and Anna Tilroe. Read more:

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Meschac Gaba (born 1961) is a Beninese conceptual artist based in Rotterdam and Cotonou. His installations of everyday objects whimsically juxtapose African and Western cultural identities and commerce. He is best known for The Museum of Contemporary African Art 1997–2002, an autobiographical 12-room installation acquired and displayed by the Tate Modern in 2013. He has also exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem and at the 2003 Venice Biennale. Read more:



Misheck Masamvu was born in Penhalonga, Zimbabwe. Having studied at Atelier Delta and Kunste Akademie in Munich, Masamvu initially specialised in the realist style, and later developed a more avant-garde expressionist mode of representation with dramatic and graphic brushstrokes.

Working primarily in painting, Masamvu treats each mark or gesture as part of a broader ecology of subconscious signs and symbols.

His works seek to explore socially-driven and socially-conscious themes, with the intention of using his art to address issues and find possible solutions that will strengthen and voice the African legacy to future generations. His motifs, drawn both from within and from the world he inhabits, take on a life of their own, exposing the psychosocial protagonists of contemporary society through acts of painterly exorcism. Read more:

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Misheck Masamvu is known for his provocative paintings which are undertaken to reflect and comment on the post-independence socio-political landscape of Zimbabwe and the nation’s place in the imagination of the political world. Born during the infancy of Zimbabwe’s independence from the British Empire, Masamvu’s scenes visualize a chaotic world similar to the one portrayed in “The House of Hunger” (1978) by the late Zimbabwean writer Dambudzo Marachera – the artist described his writing as a form of ‘literary shock treatment.’ The same can be ascribed to Masamvu’s paintings; they are a declaration of a stagnant and fractured political state. Though seductive in their rendition of color and form, the paintings can be read as a form of combat. The war here is both political and spiritual, it is waged to redeem humanity’s apathy towards suffering and pain, conditions which lead to spiritual exhaustion. Commissioned by the 32nd Bienal, Midnight (2016) and Spiritual Host (2016) are created amidst Zimbabwe’s changing political backdrop, where recent anti-government protests bear witness to the people’s demand for a new reality.

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ART AFRICA: So let’s start from the beginning. Please tell us a bit about your childhood? Were you an only child?

Misheck Masamvu: No, I was born in a family of what was meant to be six siblings, six children, but then my twin died. So there were five that survived. I’m the only boy. I grew up in a family with girls. It wasn’t easy, as I was quite frail. When my twin sister was born they didn’t have the technology to know that my mother was pregnant with twins. I think they were like “Guys, it’s time to clean up,” and I came out, so I looked at myself as maybe a renewable energy, some part of the garbage or something [laughs].

My father had been hoping to have a son, and I was that frail, fragile little boy. They weren’t really certain whether I was going to make it, so as a baby there was that tendency to be overprotective. That feeling from my parents was also pushed onto my sisters. Whenever I would want to go and play with other children there was always that thing, like “Hey, if you get injured…” It was a menace, you know. Last year I was told a story by one of my peers that because of my sisters I was the strongest. Nobody would pick fights with me because they were quite loud. So that’s me as a small boy, and still now. Read more:

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Zimbabwean artist Misheck Masamvu uses painting as a way in which to show the “breakdown of the pursuit of humanity”. His emotionally charged paintings express the artist’s psychological state as he experiences the socio-political strife taking place in his home country. Masamvu, who studied at the Atelier Delta and Kunste Akademie in Munich, is influenced by the German Expressionist and Neo Expressionist movements. His works consist of layered painted surfaces, abstracted forms and brushstrokes which are almost visceral and which exist as remnants of the physical action of painting. One gets the sense that multiple temporalities have been included in one picture plane and that beneath the surface of one painted image, an infinity of others exist. Read more:

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Over the past two decades, Zimbabwe, a largely agrarian southern African country of 17 million inhabitants, has been buffeted by seemingly endless troubles. The carnivorous politics at the centre of these problems are hard to overlook – particularly in appraisals of art from this landlocked country – but are also easily overstated. Despite the collapse of Zimbabwe’s agricultural economy, hyperinflation, blatant election tampering, intimidation of opposition politicians and the November 2017 military coup d’état that unseated the country’s autocratic president, Robert Mugabe, artists there have continued working and exhibiting. The northeastern capital of Harare has retained a cosmopolitan character, with an energetic and worldly community of artists congregated around the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ), a prim Le Corbusier-inspired building with reinforced concrete stilts that first opened in 1957. Read more:

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“Life is ash or dust, unless collected in a vessel. Its purpose is a pledge in recompense to bleeding mothers. There are words for every sad or happy moment out of respect of ones’ lifestyle. Silent proclamations are made to reclaim some form of dignity. Most of us are dust caught on the rooftops or dressed in a white mouse costume corked in a test tube. Often we dread loneliness through the absence of a colleague or family. The fact that fate cannot be contained or controlled, reminds us of the fragility of our own existence. We fear the repeat of disasters inscribed on the tombs of the unknown. How much of ourselves do we know to stand up and speak on others? Read more:

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Nigerian-American artist, Victor Ekpuk is based in Washington, DC. Ekpuk obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from University, Ife, Nigeria in 1989. In the 1990s, he was editorial cartoonist and illustrator in the now-closed Nigeria’s national newspaper, the Daily Times.

He is renowned for glyph-like paintings and drawings that are inspired by the aesthetic philosophies of indigenous African writing systems and graphic symbols from diverse cultures.

His work explores the human condition, drawing upon a wide spectrum of meaning that is rooted in African and global contemporary art discourses.

His works have been featured in exhibitions at Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, 12th Havana Biennial, Dakar Biennial, The Tang museum, Hood Museum, Fowler Museum, Museum of Art and Design, Newark Museum, The World Bank, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the 1st Johannesburg Biennial. His artworks are in such prestigious collections as the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, Brooks Museum, The World Bank, Newark Museum, Hood Museum, Krannert Art Museum, United States Art in Embassies Art Collection, and Fidelity Investment Art Collection. Read more:

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Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk is best known for his improvisational use of nsibidi, a form of ideographic writing associated with the powerful Ekpe men’s association of southeastern Nigeria. Read more:

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Victor Ekpuk, a Nigerian American artist, painted a mural for a new gallery, Arts of Global Africa, in March 2017. His art is inspired by nsibidi, a sacred means of communication among male secret societies in southeastern Nigeria. Evolving out of the graphic and writing systems of nsibidi, Ekpuk’s art embraces a wider spectrum of meaning to communicate universal themes.

“The subject matter of my work deals with the human condition explained through themes that are both universal and specific: family, gender, politics, culture and identity,” said Ekpuk.

The 58-foot mural is the beginning of the renovation of Arts of Global Africa, which will culminate in fall 2017. Read more:

New Book Release: ‘Connecting Lines Across Space and Time’ on Victor Ekpuk

Victor Ekpuk, the artist from Nigeria well known for his Nsibidi inspired poetic paintings, releases a self-titled voluminous book Victor Ekpuk: Connecting Lines Across Space and Time. Edited by Toyin Falola, an eminent Professor of African History at the University of Texas at Austin, the biographical publication contains images of Ekpuk’s work and essays by thirteen scholars who explore and analyse different phases of his work and practice over twenty-five years. read more:

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State of Beings (Totem) : installation, 220 x510x452x4 cm, acrylic vinyl and metal on wood panel and vinyl mat, 2013, Courtesy of the artist and Fondation Jean-Paul Blachère, Apt, France.

State of Beings is a mixed media installation that combines painting and sculpture in equal measure. The sculptural portion of the work stands upright against the wall whereas the painting is primarily on the floor. The two connect through the continuous lines of Nsibidi, an ancient graphic system that is autochthonous to south-eastern Nigeria and the Ejagham area of northern Cameroon. The swirling script-like patterns of State of Beings are also based on Ekpuk’s own invented signs. The fluidity of the symbols creates continuity in the installation, merging the wall into the ground seamlessly. Conceptually, the installation is a totemic portrayal of the male-female binary as composite of the human condition. The two figures physically face each other. Their emotional and psychic connection is evident in the thick red line that runs across the work, from the head of the male figure to the head of the female. Read more:

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The Conceptualism of Marcos Lora Read


The Conceptualism of Marcos Lora Read


Marcos Lora is an author of profound aesthetic spectrum, who is not exitist, who makes drawings, installations, objects, paintings, video, site-specific projects and artist books. He was born in the Dominican Republic, where he lives and works, being a citizen of the world through its ongoing exhibitions and international residencies. He graduated from Altos de Chavon, he then did bronze smelting courses in New York, and made a graduate degree in the School of Arts in the Netherlands. His language is not iterative; he deconstructs the usual images to expose the concept-structure relationship. His poetic rationalization can be corroborated in the interview transcribed here…

Marcos, how do you characterize your creative processDo you begin with an idea, or do you start drawing until something wants to become three-dimensionalor…? Read more:

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Last Thursday, February 18th, the Gallery in Altos de Chavón opened the new exhibition from the collection “Memoria en Tránsito” (Memory in Transit) by Dominican artist Marcos Lora Read.

Group - Marcos Lora Reid Exhibit

Marcos graduated in Fine Arts and Illustration from the School of Design in Altos de Chavón.  Over light drinks and some chocolates, he discussed his work with attendees speaking of his inspiration and the materials he used.  But, what we loved, is that you could also hear the pieces communicating. The exhibition is series of sculptures, paintings and installations that each had a story to tell. Marcos’ work was inspired by travels, memory books and adventures.

The exhibition will be on display until Friday, March 18th, and is an excellent opportunity to see unique and beautiful art pieces. Read more:

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The Fantastic Library

Nuoro – 06/14/2013: 08/18/2013

The exhibition tells the adventurous journey of a large group of middle school students and fifteen artists, musicians, photographers and directors from different parts of the world.

The MAN Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition “The Fantastic Library”, curated by Emiliana Sabiu. 

The exhibition tells the adventurous journey of a large group of middle school students and fifteen artists, musicians, photographers and directors from different parts of the world It is the journey of the “Fantastic Library”, which at the MAN in Nuoro, from June 14 to August 18, turns from a project to enhance the libraries of the Sulcis to an opportunity to meet and share relational and artistic processes. The abandonment of many preconceived ideas, their growth and their transformation. All this is “The Fantastic Library”. Accepting the crisis and doubt as part of the game, as the first step from which to reconstruct something that is no longer just proper. The shock of sharing and transforming an idea that starts with a twelve-year-old boy, passes through the head of an artist, flows and bounces again. Compare different cultures, create encounters, explosions, waves. And for the occasion of the exhibition at MAN, ask the 12 artists involved to tell, through their works, the encounter with the kids and their endless stories. Read more:

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SANTO DOMINGO. The ASR Contemporary Art Gallery San Ramón closed the program of individual exhibitions 2015, with the most recent visual production of the renowned artist Marcos Lora Read, called: “Transitando la Memoria”.

Last summer Marcos Lora Read was commissioned to create one of the main works of the ACTe Memorial (Center Caribeen D’Expressions et De Memoire de la Traite et de L’Esclavage) of Guadalupe, inaugurated last May, dedicated Caribbean cultural center to the memory of slavery

Currently, Lora Read is the Dominican artist most invited by international cultural and artistic institutions to participate not only in exhibitions and artistic projects, but also to give workshops and attend residency programs in cities in Europe such as Paris, Sierre, Arnhem, Munich, among others. Read more:

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Arnhem Mirror from Johan van der Schijff's I to I.
Arnhem Mirror from Johan van der Schijff’s I to I.


It took more than a hashtag campaign to remove the Cecil Rhodes statue from its prime position on the University of Cape Town campus. It took a large crane and a team of men to extricate it from its prime position, making clear it had never been designed with removal in mind.  

This was no doubt part of the misplaced hubris underlying its creation. When it was eventually detached from its plinth even the notion of its permanence was only partially shattered – it wasn’t destroyed – just relocated. Nevertheless, this landmark moment, dislodged other seemingly enduring conditions; such as the slow and ineffective transformation of our centres of education, and our society at large. Public art, monuments also came under scrutiny; however, the fate of existing ones was the focus rather than a complete overhaul of the role and design of public monuments. Read more: