The Cape Town Art Fair returns for the fifth year – running from February 17 – 19 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
Central to the fair, the special project titled Tomorrows/Today, which will be curated by Tumelo Mosaka.
Tomorrows/Today is dedicated to solo presentations by a varied selection of young artists who hail from all over the continent and diaspora – from Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria by way of New York and Ghana. Some names you’ll probably be familiar with like Serge Attukwei Clottey; others you may recognise like the Madagascan artist Joël Andrianomearisoa.
Mosaka tells us why he considers these artists some of the continent’s most thought-provoking young voices.
Born in Kisumu on the shores of Lake Vitoria in 1987, Onyis Martin is a young painter and mixed media artist represented by ARTLabAfrica who now lives and works in Nairobi.
His work relates to the individual and the community and the role of public space in it.
Mosaka describes Martin’s work as exploring ‘how identity is influenced by consumerism.’
His paintings titled Talking Walls series ‘depict wall surfaces embedded with information about popular culture’ and show the ‘migration evident in urban environments.”
Jackie Karuti is an artist who works with drawing as well as video and still performances. She is represented by the of Circle Art Gallery in Nairobi.
Mosaka sees Karuti’s pieces as ‘conceptual works that deal with urban mythologies about past, present and future realities.’
Marcia Kure is a Nigerian artist who was born in 1970 and is now based in the US although she is represented by galley BLOOM Art in Lagos. She works with drawing and photomontage.
Mosaka describes her works as ‘collaged hybrid images of bodies to probe our fears and desires by constructing fractures figures to represent uncertain state of being.’
She was Artist-in-Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2014. Her work has recently been acquired by the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington. She’s currently in the When the Heavens Meet the Earth show at the Heong Gallery in Cambridge, UK from 25 February – 21 May 2017.
At the Cape Town Art Fair she will show a body of work called Of Saints and Vagabonds.
Posterboy for west African art at the moment, Serge Attukwei Clottey’s work spans performance, sculpture and painting. He’s best known for ‘Afrogallonism’ which refers to his use of the yellow plastic Kufuor gallons, once imported from Europe to carry oil, and now used to transport water, which he moulds into intricate woven sculptures and masks.
Mosaka sees Clottey as commenting on ‘consumerism and excessive consumption through repurposing everyday objects and re-imagining found materials.’
As part of his work My Mother’s Wardrobe, which was shown at Gallery 1957 in Accra, the 31-year-old man walked through the streets of Accra in his recently deceased mother’s clothes. He was accompanied by other members of his GoLokal collective.
Meet the ‘Techno Dandy’. Mbikayi was born in Kinshasa, 1974. He now lives in Cape Town and is represented by Galley MOMO.
‘Mbikayi’s photographs capture aspects of performance and sculpture to comment on the impact of technology in our society,’ says Mosaka.
‘As the main character mimics the dress code of dandies in the Congo, Mbikayi is interested in the exploitation of labour and resistance against the uncomfortable reality of dumping junk technology parts in Africa.’
Sandile Zulu was born in 1962, in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and now lives and works in Johannesburg.
‘Zulu is best known for his distinctive choice of materials – fire-branded surfaces,’ Mosaka says, ‘which fosters a critical investigation of history and the mapping of social structures.’
He had his first international solo show at the October Gallery in London in 2005. He has exhibited often in South Africa, as well as in the United States, Germany, France and Sweden. He is represented by the SMAC Gallery.
Tanya Katherine Poole was born in St John’s, Newfoundland in 1971 and grew up in Bahrain in the Middle East, England and South Africa. She lives in Grahamstown, South Africa and forms part of the Everard Read and Circa gallery artists.
Mosaka sees Poole as investigating ‘intimate relationships between people. Her portraits capture a presence that examines fear, anger and vulnerable state of people’s conditions in the city. ‘
Trained primarily as a painter, she has also worked with video, performance, installation, theatre design and, most recently, paint animation.
Helen Teede is a painter born and brought up in Zimbabwe, where she currently lives. She is represented by First Floor gallery.
Teede as exploring the ways in which the surface of the earth can offer ‘multiple readings’, says Mosaka.
Born in 1977 in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Joël Andrianomearisoa lives and works between Paris and his birthplace. He is represented by the Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid. He has shown at the Africa Remix exhibition at The Hayward Gallery and the 2009 photography festival Rencontres Africaine de la Photographie in Bamako;
At the Cape Town Art Fair, he will present a new body of work using strips of denim to create a heap folding over a large nail to resemble a mask from distance. Mosaka sees this as part of his interest ‘in subverting preconceived ideas about Africa by evoking the past with contemporary materials.’
Thabiso Sekgala was known for his ‘gritty, penetrating’ images of the restricted homelands established under South Africa’s apartheid regime. His documentary photography has been exhibited internationally. He died at the age of 33.