Paris, another capital of contemporary African art

Contemporary African art has been honored in recent years by institutions, museums and foundations around the world, and Paris is no exception, enthusiastically participating in this international dynamic. In 2021, two galleries opened in the golden triangle; Mariane Ibrahim and Cécile Fakhoury champion Nigerian, Ghanaian and Ivorian artists in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Marie Sorbier went to find Christophe Person to tell us about this Parisian boom in contemporary African art.

African art, domestic and foreign travel

Christophe Person, external consultant for the African art department at Artcurial and co-founder of the International Ouagadougou Biennale, has also just opened a gallery specializing in contemporary African art in the Marais in Paris.

“It would be difficult to say that African artists will necessarily deal with the same themes. And this will bring them closer to a work with exotic and orientalist dimensions that they no longer want to be. But I think certain themes repeat themselves. “ Christopher Person

Indeed, many of these artists come from the diaspora and share the same ability to live between the African continent and France, Belgium, the United States and even England.

Manga Lulu Williams, "Daffodils 1"2022, oil and acrylic, 95 x 110 cm
Manga Lulu Williams, “To Daffodils 1”, 2022, oil and acrylic, 95 x 110 cm

– © Francois Mallet

“They have a certain perspective on social issues, which makes their artistic production very interesting, often dealing with themes of identity.” Christopher Person

In addition, for several decades, African artists have focused on themes such as environmental constraints, which are particularly important in Africa and Europe, and especially the ever-widening climate difference between these two continents.

New features in the African art market

Thus, Christophe Person highlights the ever-increasing commercial success of black body representation, which is accompanied by the appearance of new populations in all fields of activity, be it show business, music, cinema or fashion. He also notes that the profile of collectors has changed over the past decade due to the proliferation of fairs and institutional events that have generated so much enthusiasm.

Wilfried Mbida, "tig tig"2022, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 72 x 56 cm
Wilfried Mbida, “Tig Tig”, 2022, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 72 x 56 cm

– © Francois Mallet

For his first exhibition in his new gallery, Christophe Person chose to exhibit two artists from Cameroon, where a violent war has raged since 2016 between a section of the English-speaking Cameroonian population who want to leave French-speaking Cameroon.

“I was moved by the intimate approach to the work of Manga Lulu Williams, who works in English-speaking Cameroon and experiences psychological problems due to this war and conflict situation that she describes in her works.” Christopher Person

Pure creation as a gallery guide

As for Wilfried Mbida, this artist also interested Christophe Person for his independent work, with a very pop and colorful Africanism, painting people in the fullness of their reality, often in their own homes.

“I was deeply influenced by these two artists because their works reflected situations we all know.” Christopher Person

Manga Lulu Williams, "Daffodils 2"2022, oil and acrylic, 110x120 cm
Manga Lulu Williams, “To Daffodils 2”, 2022, oil and acrylic, 110×120 cm

– © Francois Mallet

For Christoph Person, contrary to the current trend of commercial interests being at the forefront, the study of intimacy in art is one of the aspects he wants to continue to explore.

“We must succeed in finding artists whose works are truly created by the unconscious and speak to our unconscious.” Christopher Person

  • To have, to have : Exhibition “

    Explore intimacyIt can be visited freely at the Christophe Persson gallery in Paris until January 7.

Posted in Art

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