Art
Photo courtesy of ART X Lagos.

ART X Lagos Is Set to Celebrate the Best In Contemporary African Art In Its Third Year

West Africa's premier international art fair returns this November.

ART X Lagos returns to The Civic Center in Victoria Island to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and diaspora in its third year.

From Nov. 2 to Nov. 4, West Africa's premier international art fair will host 18 international galleries including Art House – The Space (Nigeria), Addis Fine Art (Ethiopia), Circle Art Agency (Kenya), Stevenson Gallery (South Africa), Gallery 1957 (Ghana), Tafeta (United Kingdom), Tiwani Contemporary (United Kingdom), Nike Art Gallery (Nigeria), and Out of Africa Gallery (Spain) and more.

READ: Here's What Went Down at ART X Lagos 2019

ART X Lagos will welcome artists hailing from East Africa for the first time, featuring Paul Onditi and Cyrus Kabiru from Kenya, in an effort to widen Nigeria's connection to the contemporary African art world. The fair is also welcoming Yinka Shonibare MBE as its 2018 keynote artist. He'll be celebrated with an exhibition that digs into his career highlights.


Tilbug Sun (2017) by Cyrus Kabiru. Photo courtesy of ART X Lagos.

Other programs to look out for this year include ART X Talks, Interactive Projects and ART X Live. Curated by Missla Libsekal, the ART X Talks series will feature engaging discussions from key stakeholders in Africa's art economy.

Curated by A Whitespace Agency, the fair will feature experimental platforms that explore ideas influenced by the exhilarating essence of Lagos—including Mad Horse City, a virtual reality installation from artists Olalekan Jeyifous and Wale Lawal.

ART X Live is a returning live art and music performance program that is curated by Lanre Masha with Odunsi the Engine as creative director. It's due to feature some of Africa's most talented rising artists, such as Teni the Entertainer, Ghanaian artist Amaare and BOJ. "The theme this year invites guests to indulge in an electric exploration of Africa's rich musical history with a celebration of our heroes past—the icons, legends and sounds that have shaped the continent's contemporary musical landscape," the fair explains.

Untitled (2018) by Joy Labinjo. Photo courtesy of ART X Lagos.

Since its launch in 2016, the fair has hosted 15,000 attendees and some of Africa's most sought-after established and emerging artists.

"We are validated in our decision to develop this vital platform for the growth and increased visibility of African artists and galleries," Tokini Peterside, founder and director of ART X Lagos, says in a press release. "We look forward to welcoming a vast and varied, local and international audience as we seek to reinforce Lagos' position as an emergent cultural capital on our continent."

ART X Lagos was created to widen Nigeria's connection to the contemporary art scene across Africa and the world. The three-day affair will run from Friday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 4 at The Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Check out ART X Lagos' website for more information, and be sure to keep up with them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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