Politics & News

NewsThe University of Hong Kong demands the removal of a monument to Tiananmen Square massacre off its pramises with onlu a week of warning

In a tense exchange between several parties, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has requested the removal of a statue that has been exhibited at the campus since 1997. The request came after the disbandment of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

NewsNigerian artists want to exchange new artworks for the British Museum's Benin Bronzes

For the return of the Benin Bronzes currently housed at the British Museum in London, a group of Nigerian artists is offering new artworks in its place.

NewsDread Scott's First NFT Sells A White Man On An Auction Block

Scott’s NFT features a looping video of a white man standing on an auction block at a Brooklyn sidewalk. Scott titled the work White Man For Sale and will be auctioned at Christie’s during a special sale on October 1. 

Art, Politics & SocietyHow NFT and Digital Art can make the art world a little bit less white and male

For the past few decades, a different generation of artists is using everchanging technology to create not just a new type of art, but a new type of artist. Unlike the very homogenous club of the traditional art world, the digital art world is incredibly diverse, with all sorts of people, of all shapes and sizes, from all corners of the world.

Art, Politics & SocietyImage Is Power: How Kwame Brathwaite Changed The Narrative With Photography

Meet the man behind the images that drove the Black Is Beautiful movement at its inception.

Art, Politics & SocietyWhat Chadwick Boseman’s Oscars NFT Blunder Reveals About What Digital Art Can — And Should — Do

After a barrage of criticism for his initial NFT inspired by the late Chadwick Boseman, artist Andre Oshea created a new work that addressed many of those critics. His new work, in comparison to his last, showed the capabilities the digital medium has.

Art, Politics & SocietyDeveloping A New Understanding Of Art’s Role In Civil Society

Let’s unfold three long-standing polarities at stake in the art world: Government vs. Market, Freedom vs. Authority, and Provocation vs. Decadence. 

Art, Politics & SocietyGordon Park's Weapon Of Choice? His Trusty Camera

Photography as a way to change and empower communities is a method that’s been used many times throughout history. It speaks to the power that images, especially photography, have. Or as renowned photographer Gordon Parks liked to call it, it’s a powerful weapon.

Artist SpotlightLaeila Adjovi: From Documentary to Art

Her series with fellow photographer Loïc Hoquet, titles Malaïka Dotou Sankofa, won the Leopold-Sédar-Senghor Grand Prix, the top prize for the Dakar Bienalle of Contemporary Art. It’s a stunning series that comments on how the media portrays Africa. The series is built with layers upon layers of symbolism finished with an impeccable aesthetic sheen. An androgynously-dressed model bears wings made of fabrics created by the Baye Fall Muslim religious community in Senegal. It is a poignant commentary on how the African body is often hidden or manipulated to fit the mold of Western society.

Art, Politics & SocietyMona Hatoum: Provocation and Engagement

“Like the majority of Palestinians who became exiles inLebanon after 1948, they were never able to obtain Lebanese identity cards. It was one way of discouraging them from integrating into the Lebanese situation.When I went to London in 1975 for what was meant to be a brief visit, I got stranded there because the war broke out in Lebanon, and that created a kind of dislocation, [which] manifests itself in my work…” Mona Hatoum (1998)

Artist SpotlightNja Mahdaoui: the choreographer of letters

His work is characterized by Arabic letters that come together in a colourful design. Because of the nice prints these designs consist out of his work fits perfectly on bigger objects, such as planes and architecture.

InterviewsNuits Balnéaires: When Art moves beyond Geographical Borders

“My soul belongs to so many lands and cultures that it makes it impossible for me to conceive the geographical borders inherited from the colonial age.” — Nuits Balnéaires

Art, Politics & SocietyThe Mystery of Eugène Atget

His heritage had influenced not only the Surrealists but the whole perception of the photography, particularly the documentary one. Eugène Atget created a series of visually informative documents that launched a creative pursuit of new forms and optics revealing a mysterious side of the city life that enchants even the most blasé audience of modern times.

Artist SpotlightChiderah Bosah: Young Nigerian Painter With A Message

As a Nigerian, he draws inspiration from his surroundings, telling the stories of friends and families and their resilience and pride within this world

Artist SpotlightNgozi Schommers: The Way We Mask

For African women, hair and beauty is an integral part of their lives. Yet the current discussion of African hairstyles is often seen through a colonial, western civilization lens, without any thoughts on the pre-colonial times and what it actually means to African women. Nigerian-German artist Ngozi Schommers tackles this issue, and many others unique to African women, in her transcendent works.

Artist SpotlightTiff Massey: From Metalsmithing to Storytelling

Massey’s works are always rooted in the African American vernacular and their experiences. She draws inspiration from a variety of topics, like the hip hop scene or the beauty shops, commenting on racial stereotypes and class separation.

InterviewsButler : Minimalism and Finesse

If you’re a Black artist, you’re always expected to make art that is directed towards your struggle that reflects your pain or your challenges of being Black. However, I think that just your existence alone is already a protest, in Western context, and that’s the way I see myself. Being able to make art in this Western environment and for some people to be able to accept it is kind of my protest anyway. It’s because most of my work is of Black people and most of my audience and the people that buy my work is white, so I’m pushing this Black image to beyond what they see on TV, in the movies or in the music videos. 

Artist SpotlightMous Lamrabat : Redefining Cultural Identity

Mous said: "Two people kissing under a scarf has been read as being about homosexuality or two people meeting for the first time after a wedding…For me it's just nice to start the conversation and make you think because normality doesn't actually exist."

NewsArt in the Age of a Pandemic

With limited access tostudios and materials, did their medium or style change? With everyone being forced to spendfar more time inside, with less social interaction, did this allow artists more time to create? Ordid this time inside create a shift in their artwork? Furthermore, has this pandemic and thelooming recession caused artists to reconsider their creative profession, or drive them tocommit to it further?

Art, Politics & SocietyManal Al Dowayan: Unifying Saudi Arabian Women

What is important to Manal is to make an impact on the viewer. In her most popular piece, Suspended Together, she unifies women around Saudi Arabia in representing them as a flock of birds. The birds are suspended in air yet are immobilized, reflecting the immobility of Saudi Arabain women in their own countries, in their own home. This piece shows the audience the feeling women have to deal with on a daily basis, as they need special slips in order to move around. The words of the slip are etched onto the white birds - free but not completely - from real slips allowing women from all around to travel. Manul wrote the following about the piece, “regardless of age and achievement, when it comes to travel, all these women are treated like a flock of suspended doves.”

Art, Politics & SocietyEl Seed: Discovering Arabic Calligraphy around the World

In the search of self discovery one can learn not only of himself but help others discover similarities between you and them. As an extension of this idea, as human beings we spread our culture in the same, if not intertwined way. This is what El Seeds work is about. His art is based off of a very distinctive form which makes it easy to recognize all around the world. Yet each piece has a unique meaning associated with a particular time, place or idea.

Artist SpotlightKwame Acheampong: The Spirit of Jamestown Accra

Ghanaian artist Kwame Acheampong perfectly captures the essence of his seaside town, Jamestown, Accra, with his camera. Using bold colors and composition, Acheampong records the spirit and soul of the people from his town. They’re both playful and hard workers, but also not entirely devoid of their own misgivings and troubles.

Artist SpotlightRewa: Otherworldly Stories of Women

Rewa has been creative most of her life. That creative tendency was often directed towards her financial career as a manager to solve issues and come up with marketing strategies. In 2016, needing a truly creative outlet, Rewa picked up a brush and started painting. She hasn’t looked back. In 2020, she sold thousands of dollars of her paintings in international markets.

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Artist SpotlightRory Emmett and The Coloured Man

In reality the colourful pattern splattered on the entire body does the exact opposite, it takes away identity. It mystifies race and betters our understanding of whatever other political statement Emmett is exploring in a single piece. It is also a reflection of the word coloured which is the way in which African Natives of many racial origins refer to each other. 

Virtual ExhibitionsHidden Gems: Meet Marques Hardin of Artgence

In 2018, I took a DNA test and discovered my roots which at first was a bit confusing but based on the US’s history it made more sense – My bloodline comes from Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Africa Southeastern Bantu, Mali, Europe, and the UK. The artists on our roster reflect the areas of my DNA. As a black man, I truly want the business to be a reflection of these amazing artist who haven’t been introduced the large art collector community.

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NewsRegarding what should be the location of looted art

Colonialism had a lot of consequences, one of them being indigenous art and utensils that were stolen from colonized countries. These objects often behold financial, cultural and spiritual value and therefore in the new ‘woke’ era many parties are aiming for the artefacts to be returned to their home country.

Art, Politics & SocietyShan Wallace : Glimpses of the Ballroom Scene

Born in 1991, the photographer discovered ballrooms In Baltimore, when she was still a teenager. This culture really helped her shape her sexuality and gender expression. She said that as a gay Black woman, she developed an androgynous version of herself, which ran counter to the typical « dominant, butch » lesbian stereotype that prevails. Through voguing, she could express both her feminity and her masculinity (or at least what is seen as feminity and masculinity)

InterviewsThe Hypnotic Dream World Of Michael Walrond's Photography

So what’s next for Michael? He’s got an upcoming solo exhibition with Artgence where he would be showcasing some of the works he’s done over the years. Other than that, he’s working on a book featuring Black people. As a Black artist himself, the recent going-on with the Black Lives Matter movement hits close to home. He received criticism for not being so vocal about it on social media, but he thinks social media shouldn’t be the metrics of his activism. He’s an artist, so what he creates is art. “This is my way of saying something about it.”

Artist SpotlightPJ Harper(Pig.Malion): Celebrating the diversity that exists within Blackness

For Harper his arthas been a way to translate the wide range of shades and body types that sitwithin the African Diaspora into art. His work therefore showcases the diversitythat exists within blackness.

Artist SpotlightTadeas Podracky : Eindhoven's New “Enfant Prodige” 

Tadeas Podracky is an artist based between Eindhoven and Prague, and his graduation project is bringing light to the concept of “Metamorphosis”. Podracky believes that “design has rendered our environment impersonable”. Furniture are being massively and extensively produced, and to escape these impersonal environments, we tend to escape to virtual words. 

Renzo Martens: White Cube

The film follows the director in his pursuit in helping Congolese people, and more specifically palm oil and cocoa plantation workers who are being exploited, reclaim their land from the conglomerate Unilever. 

Artist SpotlightZandile Tshabalala: The True Meaning of Confidence

Her main aim in her pieces to show humanity within Black women against the more common narrative built by society today. Which is also why nature is very prominent in her paintings as well, alluding to representing the true essence of black women. She introduces a new perspective on Black women and who they are - confident and comfortable.

Virtual ExhibitionsArtgence launches the biggest virtual exhibition in the world in collaboration with OpenEye Magazine

The biggest virtual exhibition is now available to everyone, wherever you are in the world. More than 3000 square meters, 42 stands, 100 photographers and 570 photographs are now on display on the website : https://openeye-by.artgence.co/ . This exhibitions features photographers and artists such as Myriam Martinez, Bernard Moncet, Jean Paul Marbach. 

NewsIrene Kanga at the EyeFilm Museum, Amsterdam

In three words: troubling, confronting, revealing. 

Art, Politics & SocietyWhy Afrofuturism will establish a more equal future

The term ‘Afrofuturism’ was originally defined by cultural critic Mark Derry in 1993, in an essay called ‘Black to the Future’. Yet, the idea has existed for much longer. Missy Elliot, Janet Jackson and Solange Knowles have explored the movement.

Art, Politics & Society Name a More Iconic Duo : Art and Digital Platforms

Are we witnessing a redefinition of the concept of art, with a more global, less elitist vision of what makes the beauty of a work? It seems that the artistic landscape is changing, through its promotion on social media and the use of less traditional mediums.

Artist SpotlightFerrari Sheppard: Black Americana

Sheppard’s paintings, their compositions, their dress, and hair, are reminiscent of images from ‘50s America, yet in truth, Black people are rarely ever shown in media during that time.

Artist SpotlightAndrew Gray: Merging Fine Art With Graphic Design

There’s also a certain tension in his paintings. This tension can be from an unbreaking, confronting gaze from his subjects or a cleverly placed block of color precariously balanced in a field of color.

Artist SpotlightSungi Mlengeya: Aesthetic of Omission

A closer look reveals that these portraits are not what they seem to be. Mlengenya did not paint these African women wearing white dresses in front of a white background.

Art, Politics & SocietyDevin Allen, the eyes of Baltimore

One of his shots showed a Black man running, followed by a herd of police officers wearing riot gears. He posted it on Instagram and Twitter. It went viral. A few days later,he was contacted by Time magazine.

NewsParis Welcomes New Outdoor Exhibition by Sammy Baloji

Symbols of repossession by Africa of its history and identity, these two exceptional sculptures aim to question and highlight the underlying colonial stories wiped from collective consciousness but written under the neat surface of European architectural heritage.

Art, Politics & SocietyThe Story Behind... Obama's "HOPE" Poster

In a nutshell, the poster combines the efficiency and the aesthetics of Soviet propaganda and Warhol’s art.

Art, Politics & SocietyArthur Jafa’s "Love is the Message, the Message is Death" as a leitmotif of the fight for racial justice

With a direct and raw narration, Jafa transfers the message in another form of protest and expression of Black culture, as it is the exact opposite of calculated, cold and always (slightly) censored White media and authors.

Virtual ExhibitionsVOMA, The First Online Museum Without A Nationality

In times where a global pandemic prevents us from checking out our favorite artists in the offline world, creatives need to get creative and think of new, innovative ways to display artworks.

Artist SpotlightNana Kofi Acquah: Between Photography and Activism

Available from the 19th of September 2020 to the 3rd of January 2021, the new exhibition ‘Trembling Landscape:Between Reality and Fiction’ brings together eleven artists from North Africa and the Middle East. Presented at the EYE FILM Museum in Amsterdam, these engaged and versatile artists look at landscapes from a novel and critical stand. Not only exploring the question of borders, these artists bring to life stories about landscapes’ past, present and future.

Art, Politics & SocietyWhen will we decolonise art ?

Twenty-six pieces of the"Treasure of Behanzin" looted from the Abomey Palace in 1892 will leave the Quai-Branly Museum for Benin.Even though we can only appreciate these gestures, we must also realise that it represents a small share of stolen African art. If President Macron (or any other European leader) decides to massively restitute stolen pieces of art that African countries have been claiming for a long time, it could turn the tide and lead to a structural change in mentalities.

Art, Politics & SocietyThree reasons why the art market is not the “biggest unregulated market in the world”

Robert Hughes’ once stated “Apart from drugs, art is the biggest unregulated market in the world”...

Art, Politics & SocietyOcean, Alienation and Political Turmoil - Kadara Enyeasi’s provocative work

Taking place from September to October 2020, Kadara Enyeasi’s last exhibition at KÓ Art Space in Lagos is truly fascinating. Entitled “Is it not enough for the sea to be beautiful?”, this new body of works focuses on the ocean as a symbolic representation of alienation...

Artist Spotlight“We exist, we resist, we persist” - Zanele Muholi on the Black LGBTQ+ Identity

Portraits in high black and white contrast, Zanele Muholi proposes a visually appealing and engaged work rooted in her affirmed ‘visual activism’...

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