Arts + Culture

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair To Make Its US Debut During New York's Frieze Week

The 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair comes to New York this summer during Frieze Week


Athi-Patra Ruga's The Night of the Long Knives I, 2013

In just two years London's 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair has grown to become one of the leading art gatherings showcasing the work of contemporary artists from Africa and the diaspora on the international art market. With successful installments of the event in 2013 and 2014 solidifying the fair's place in the art world, 1:54's creator and director Touria El Glaoui (the daughter of well-known Moroccan painter Hassan El Glaoui) has announced that a pop-up edition of the fair will be taking place in New York City this spring in conjunction with Frieze New York. The NYC edition of the popular art gathering will be staged at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation in Red Hook, Brooklyn from May 15-17 2015.

The 2014 fair, which took place last October at London's Somerset House  featured a number of contemporary artists whose works made our Best African Art of 2014 list including Senegalese fine arts photographer Omar Victor Diop, Nigerian audio-visual artist, Emeka Ogboh, Beninois mixed-media artist, Romuald Hazoumè, and Moroccan pop photographer Hassan Hajjaj. No exhibitors have been announced yet for the New York event, but you can keep up with everything 1:54-related on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The third annual 1:54 Contemporary Arts Fair will be held in London from October 15-18. Watch the video below for a recap of last year's fair.

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Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Qatar Museums

Influential Louis Vuitton And Off-White Designer Virgin Abloh, Dies at 41

The popular Ghanian-American designer had been battling a rare form of cancer in private for several years.

The fashion industry has lost a talented, unique, and boundary-pushing influence this weekend.

41-year-old Ghanianian-American designer Virgil Abloh has died after a 2 year battle with a rare form of cancer, a statement from his associates LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Sunday. Abloh, founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White, and artistic director of men's wear at French fashion house Louis Vuitton leaves his wife Shannon, and 2 children - Lowe and Grey. Chairman and CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault said in a statement, "We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom." "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother, or their friend," he added.

After the news broke on Sunday, Abloh started trending on Twitter, with fans of the designer remembering his influence on music, art, and fashion. The 1990s saw Abloh DJ and the creative director once told The Guardian in a 2016 interview, "When the phone is off, I play my favorite songs really loud for myself, and I'm not talking to anyone. I'm not managing anything. It's just like a time when I can listen to music… I'll be DJing after I'm done designing or doing anything else." Virgil got his hands into designing album artworks after strumming up a friendship with American rapper Kanye West before becoming the creative director of West's DONDA Creative House. More recently known for his creative streetwear brand 'Off-White' the designer became popular among fashion-conscious youngsters and will forever be immortalized.

A statement posted to Abloh's Instagram explained that "Virgil chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture"

Friends, fans, and colleagues took to social media to share their well-wishes for Virgil as he transitions to his next destination.



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How Relocating to Ghana Helped Reinvigorate Jewelry Designer Aisha Asamany's Work

Moving to Ghana gave Aisha Asamany's luxury jewelry brand, inspired by Adinkra symbols that traditionally project strength, fearlessness, love and power, renewed verve to tell personal stories of her growing clientele.