Art
(Photo by Fatma Esma Arslan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Dak'Art Biennale Returns

The Dakar Biennale, one of the continent's largest cultural events, is back after the pandemic for its 14th edition.

The 14th edition of Dak’Art opened last Thursday, after a four year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, every two years, members of the international art world descended upon Dakar for its month-long Biennale. This year, Senegal’s teranga, or culture of hospitality, welcomes close to 300,000 visitors back and the city of Dakar serves yet again as a colorful backdrop for a meeting of minds.

The Dakar Biennale, dubbed Dak’Art, is one of the continent’s largest cultural events. Created in 1989 to celebrate literature, crafts, and visual arts, this form of the Biennale centered around contemporary African art has existed since 1996. Dak’Art has two unique parts: an IN, comprised of artists who adhere to the year’s theme, and an OFF, for those who do not. Where artists who show for the IN have works that can be found in national buildings like the Ancien Palais de Justice, Museum of Black Civilizations, Museum of African Art, and National Gallery, the myriad of artists who partake in the OFF show their off-beat works everywhere else in locations from hotels to restaurants to embassies to libraries to bus depots to beaches to galleries.

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Arts + Culture
Photo: Brice Esso

Ivorian Sculptor Brice Esso On Using African Tradition To Create ‘Baby Heads’

The artist speaks to us about how his move to the United States provided him the experiential learning he needed to pivot to from economics to sculpting.

Born in 1991 in Dabou, Côte D’Ivoire, Brice Esso, was almost destined to sculpt—with a father who was a geologist and an upbringing in a country in which he was surrounded by terracotta objects, pots, plates, and homes. After acquiring a bachelor’s in economics from Georgia State University, where he had honed his skills as a photographer and craftsman, he enrolled in the New York Academy of Art in 2015, to pursue a masters in drawing, and then transferred to sculpture.

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