Arts + Culture

First Look: A Sneak Peak Into This Year’s 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair returns today and runs through the weekend. You can’t miss this.

BROOKLYN, NY1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading transnational fair for contemporary African art in New York, begins today. In it’s third edition, 1:54 continues to dedicate the promotion of contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives.


Red Hook’s Pioneer Works will house the work of over 60 artists represented by 19 galleries hailing from Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. This year 1:54 also welcomes nine new galleries in hopes of broadening and diversifying the mix of unique art on view to the public further.

The preview last night was jam packed with contemporary African art enthusiasts who soaked up the opportunities to experience the works of renowned figures, including Malick Sidibé, Ibrahim El-Salahi and William Kentridge; as well as young African artists who are changing the game such as Cheikh Ndiaye, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Mohau Mokadiseng and Derrick Adams.

1:54 continues to be a beacon of collaboration. Attendees can enjoy furniture pieces Senegalese designer Ousmane Mbaye’s signature GRAPHIK collection in the lounge near gallery entrance.

The fair also presents the opportunity to engage in conversation through their FORUM program which includes artists talks and panel discussions including Sondra Perry, Tschabalala Self, Marcia Kure and a keynote lecture by Raél Jero Salley, professor in art history at the Maryland Institute College of Art. FORUM is curated by Koyo Kouoh, artistic director of RAW Material Company, Dakar.

In the image gallery below we give you a sneak peak of what you can experience this weekend.

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1:54 NY runs Friday, May 5, through Sunday, May 7. Find out more information, check out their website here. Keeping in mind the future of contemporary African art and to build the continent's collector base, Touria El Glaoui, founding director of 1:54, tells us that 1:54 heads to Marrakech, Morocco, in 2018—stay tuned for more soon.

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Image courtesy of Daily Paper.

Daily Paper Enlists Ghanaian Artist David Alabo For New Tarot Card Capsule Collection

The streetwear brand's new line of t-shirts feature striking, Afro-Surrealist designs by Ghanaian artist David Alabo.

Amsterdam-based, African-owned streetwear brand, Daily Paper has released a new limited edition capsule collection in collaboration with Ghanaian visual artist David Alabo.

The Tarot Card collection of high end t-shirts is part of the brand's Spring/Summer 2020 collection. Each t-shirt features a unique design by Alabo "highlighting an Afro-Surrealism tarot card providing insight and guidance through symbolism and spiritual wisdom," according to a press release from Daily Paper. The designs reflect Alabo's artistic vision of using elements of fantasy and mysticism to critique African society.

"Daily Paper is dedicated to promoting African culture by honoring the past and its influence on their vision of the future," said the artist. "They push the boundaries and challenge the perception of Africa in the fashion world which is what I aim to achieve in the art world too. It just makes sense that we work together and inspire each other."

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Image courtesy of the artist.

In 'Aba Women Riot' Nigerian Artist, Fred Martins, Reinterprets a Groundbreaking Moment In African History

In a new series of prints, the artist celebrates 'the women who lend their voices and stood strong against the oppression of Africans.'

March marks Women's History Month, and for African women, one event that epitomizes the will and tenacity within our community is the Aba Women's Riot, also known as The Women's War of 1929, in which thousands of predominantly Igbo women in eastern Nigeria mobilized to challenge British colonial rule and the barriers placed on women's civic life.

This paradigm-shifting moment in history is the center of the latest series from Nigerian visual artist Fred Martins, who began conceptualizing "Aba Women Riot" in 2019, while reflecting on the invaluable contributions women have made throughout history. "I reflected on the power of femininity and how it has affected history on every stage and era of human civilization," said the artist in a statement.

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Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

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Juls Drops New Music Video for 'Soweto Blues' Featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis

The Ghanaian-British producer heads to South Africa for the music video for the amapiano-inspired track.

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint.

The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

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