Posts Tagged African Contemporary Art

Ed Cross interview: African art and developments in the online market

mamady.saydi.les.cyclistesMamady Seydi | Les Cyclistes | 2012 | mixed media sculpture

Ed Cross was recently interviewed by in Omenka Magazine. Ed discusses his introduction to African art and his time spent in Africa as a sculptor. Ed shares his thoughts on the current state of the market and how selling African art online is growing in popularity and profitability.

Read the full article: http://issuu.com/richardmudariki/docs/85/1?e=8722852%2F5808048

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The tipping point for contemporary African art?

mario_macilauMário Macilau | Photo of Girl with Doll

Ed Cross was recently interviewed by Rachel Hamada for This is Africa about the contemporary African art market and art scene. Ed believes that the market has reached a tipping point, and that it is now getting the attention it deserves.

What does this increasing interest in contemporary African art mean for the artists involved? Is the term ‘African’ being painted with too broad a brush? Ed offers his opinions into these issues in this insightful article.

Read the article: http://www.thisisafrica.me/visual-arts/detail/20070/the-quiet-explosion-of-contemporary-african-art-in-the-global-art-market

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Kimathi Donkor – a figurative master

Kimathi Donkor is a British artist living and working in London whose large, figurative oil paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the UK and internationally.

Kimathi Donkor - Oshun visits Gaba at Tate’s ‘Big House’Oshun visits Gaba at Tate’s ‘Big House’ | Oil on Linen | 170 x 140cm | 2013

Hailing from a family with roots in Ghana, Jamaica, England, Zambia and Poland, Donkor’s meticulously crafted compositions draw on the traditions of portraiture and historical painting. Yet the themes of his work address dramatic modern subjects – ranging from urban conflict in contemporary London to the adventures of Ghana’s anti-colonial heroine, Yaa Asantewaa. Sitters are often friends or family, which, he believes, imparts a degree of intimacy to the monumentality of his figures.

Donkor is a master painter in a digital age, but his work is anything but anachronistic. It is steeped in historical, contemporary and art history references that inform, entertain and challenge the viewer. His paintings are both beautiful works of art and complex political/historical conundrums, arising out of his own heritage and at times challenging personal journey and his astute study of history and art history.

Kamathi Donkor - NotebookNotebook II | Watercolour and pencil on paper | 32 x 24cm | 2013

In 2012, Donkor was commissioned by Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) to produce new paintings for his acclaimed Queens of The Undead solo show at Rivington Place, London. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Derek Hill painting award for the British School at Rome, which included a three-month residency in Italy, studying the work of the Baroque master, Caravaggio.

In 2010, the artist’s paintings were exhibited at the 29th São Paulo Biennial in Brazil. His Caribbean Passion paintings are currently on long-term display at the Usher Gallery museum in Lincoln. From 2009 to 2011, Donkor collaborated with the artists Raksha Patel and Eleni Zagkali alongside a group of young Londoners to create artworks for the Seeing Through participatory project at Tate Britain.

Writing about the artist’s work has appeared in Frieze.com, Studio International, The Guardian and Visual Culture in Britain amongst many other journals.

Kimathi Donkor has been has been the recipient of two full-time painting bursaries from the Arts & Humanities Research Council. He gained his Master’s degree in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts (2010) and his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College (1987). He is currently completing a doctorate in painting at Chelsea College of Art and Design.

Click here to view our collection of Kimathi Donkor pieces.

For enquiries about Kimathi Donkor’s work please contact:

Ed Cross ed@edcrossfineart.com +44 (0) 7507067567

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Joseph Bertiers – the master of African satire

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The True Lier  | Joseph Bertiers | 2013 | Oil on canvas | 90 x 100cm 

When I  first visited Joseph Bertiers in Nairobi we had met by the main Dagoretti  road and drove together towards his house – I had no idea what to expect and was greeted by a walled compound with a large smart looking gate – we paused outside  as Bertiers gestured to what look like an “askari” (a guard) just visible inside.  The guard  turned out to be one of Bertiers’ many life-sized scrap metal sculptures that adorn his garden. This was the first of many jokes. Even his name is a joke. He renamed himself Bertiers from the original Mbatia to see if having a European name would  boost his art sales – it did apparently – though that was in another era. Perhaps he should change it back?  But that wouldn’t be funny – so he wont.

The painting you see here is a rollocking expose of a type of corrupt and venal pastor that plagues the African continent and many other parts of the globe. This painting was inspired by revelations about the Fire Gospel Ministry in Kenya where a pastor had been caught paying women to fake illness so that they could be miraculously cured. Bertiers depicts the realities of sexual harassment and the sheer lies and  hypocrisy peddled by these “true liers”.

In the words of the artist:

The time has come for people to realize that they are
conned, cheated and given no spiritual healing at all.  Although they take their  time, these people who pretend to be spiritually superior to their congregations enrich themselves through the poor exploiting the fact that  religion is the opium of the people,  as Karl Marx the philosopher said.

Bertiers is an increasingly successful and acclaimed artist. His work was recently featured in the Financial Times and his work  is in several major collections in Europe and the U.S.A..

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