there It is ! It is open. All lovers of contemporary african art can be in a hurry at the fair nos 1/54 of New York. Finally, without touching or kissing, by applying the measures, barriers, the background of the sofa... thanks to the Internet. The challenge is raised. The appointment was already set for this month. It must be said that since 2015, the fair of contemporary african art nos 1/54 moved in may to New York. Finally, for the edition of this year, the event will not take place at the Caldwell Factory in Manhattan, but on the website Artsy, a specialist in the sale of art online. Open on 6 may last, the fair nos 1/54 going to last until the end of the month. It offers a virtual tour to discover more than 80 artists from Africa and the diaspora, presented by 25 international galleries. The opportunity to browse over 600 works, or through the galleries that show the artists on their sites, either via the website of Artsy that makes this on-line exhibition.
Alexis Peskine, Viola Amor, 2019, Orange, gold leaf, Nails, lacquer, coffee, red Brazilian clay, Urucum & varnish on wood, 200.7 x 200.7 cm. ©Courtesy of October Gallery Joseph Marando, Dam Idriss I, between Fez and Taza, after rains are exceptional, 2004, From the series, a Morocco, plain, Silver print, 50 x 60 cm, Ed 3/3. ©Courtesy of Galerie 127 Marion Boehm, My Grandpa's Mask, 2019, Mixed media, 171 x 119 cm. ©Courtesy of OOA Salifou Lindou, the exodus and the family (2019), Pastel on paper, 100 x 180 in. ©Courtesy of Afikaris Ousmane Niang, The world is looking for a future (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 160 × 200 cm. ©Courtesy of Afikaris Nyaba Oueadrago, popular Theatre 05 2020, 112 x 112 cm
digital Print on paper William Turner. ©Courtesy of Afikaris Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo, American man (2015-2017), Digital print, 60 × 90 cm. ©Courtesy of Afikaris Ousmane Niang, card Games (2020), Acrylic on canvas, 200 × 160 cm. ©Courtesy of Afikaris Raphael Mayne, untitled, 2018, 90 x 60 cm
Wax african print, acrylic, marker and yarn on canvas. ©Courtesy of Afikaris Salifou Lindou, Players 1, 2019, 100x75 cm
Pastel on paper. ©Courtesy of Afikaris Ousmane Niang, Untitled, 2020, 170x150 cm
Acrylic on canvas. ©Courtesy of Afikaris
Touria El Glaoui had to change its rifle of shoulder
"We are pleased to invite you to explore the online edition nos 1/54, on the website Artsy or through the application Artsy," says Touria El Glaoui, founder of nos 1/54 (1 for one continent, 54 for the number of countries). With her team, she had to react quickly. Mid-march, it was evident that the manifestation could not take place as usual. The only solution would then to organize a virtual event, to attempt to limit the economic impact. "We have put in place a platform for online sales, in partnership with Artsy, available on 4 and 5 may for our VIP guests and from 6 to 30 may for the public. This allows you as well to our audience of collectors and enthusiasts to have access to the entirety of the works which ought to be present at the fair, " says Touria El Glaoui.
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As if we were there
Then, without being able to see the works first-hand, meet face to face with the artists and the gallery owners, we can show from the discovery of paintings, photographs or sculptures. And if affinities, the contact with the gallery owner is made via a click. It is also made possible thanks to the iPhone app Artsy choose a work is to display it in his living room in 3D. And frankly, it feels good. Good, attention, it is necessary to have the budget that follows, but the app is free.
wander in the alleys of the site of Artsy, you can discover the portraits pop Anjel, a young painter from cameroon. His characters are very elegant, inspired by the " sapeurs ", pose proudly in front of a background where the logos of the major luxury brands appear in the watermark. For the work of the cloth, it can let itself be seduced by the paintings of Ghanaian Raphael Adjetey Adjei Mayne, which draws, through a patchwork of characters and compositions combining tradition and modernity.
The paintings of the Franco-Burkinabe Henri Abraham Universe we invite you to travel the cosmos in african, while those of the Nigerian Kelechi Nwaneri take us into a surreal world. As to the paintings of Ken Nwadiogbu, they play on the hyper-realism. On the side of the photograph, one can dream in front of the strange atmosphere of Johannesburg at night, captured by Elsa Bledda. Similarly, one can ask oneself before the shots Nyaba Ouedraogo, between photo and painting, or even to let the universe in black and white by Nicolas Derné.
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In a video made by nos 1/54, Tarek Mouganie, president of group Affinity, but also a collector, details her experience online. Obviously, he has been seduced by this virtual visit and hope that this experience will continue in the future. According to him, it can be intimidating to go into a art gallery and the virtual tour eventually makes the art more accessible.
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Without physical contact, but the content in addition to
" Nothing can replace the contact, regrets Florian, founder of Afikaris, who represents the younger generation of gallery owners. At the fair, we meet and we talk with a hundred people per day. Then, to be found on the website Artsy is good, but it's still a linear view. We were engaged on the edition in New York and we played the game out. We are with the same selection as the one that had to be shown in New York. We had already worked on the communication for our artists, but with the containment, we have made it more. Videos on our artists are on YouTube, as a series of "one artist, one work". And we have been working on a 3D virtual tour. "
failing to be able To meet, exchange, discuss, artists, gallery owners, but also the organisers of artistic events are trying to compensate by creating highlighting of the content. "We are developing the online presence of nos 1/54, of course with a platform viewing room as relevant and effective as possible, but also the creation of content on our artists. In particular, we have posted many interviews with artists exhibiting at the nos 1/54 Online Edition, and launched the nos 1/54 Studio Visit Series where artists make us visit their studio in Lagos, Cape Town or Dakar by video, " details Touria El Glaoui.
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What about tomorrow ?
Difficult to project into the future when so many uncertainties are still weighing heavily. The economy has not really picked up and some countries are still confined like the United Kingdom. For nos 1/54, the next appointment, it is London in October. According to Touria El Glaoui, " this crisis will have an impact on the fair of October, if it can be done, with necessarily a dealing with the public is a little different from our usual, with a priori a system of booking a time slot for the visit, which would allow us to manage the flow and the number of people inside the fair ". To sketch possible scenarios and draw tracks for the future, nos 1/54 held on may 19, a live webinar, at 19 hours (French time) and invited the directors of AKAA, Art X Lagos and ETF Art Joburg, the other three main fairs of contemporary african art, to discuss the future !
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* Fair nos 1/54 from 6 to 31 may 2020.