The artists’ world is surrounded by people who are interestingly key players in telling the complete story of the artist. In this world, you would find those who would talk about his works, those who would organize it, critique it, and those whose job is to authenticate the art. There are Curators, historians, critics, connoisseurs, art lovers etc. The truth is the artist is never alone in his world, for there are those who benefit from his fits directly or indirectly. If you are in the art world or trying to venture into the art world, these are few people you should know.
“Curators are responsible for assembling, cataloging, managing, displaying and presenting artistic and cultural collections”.
Curators are simply managers. Their works have over the years evolved from managing museums and galleries to managing the artist himself. They are one of the most important people in the art world. They curate and organize and document the artist as well as buy from and promote on behalf of their various institutions, be it a museum, a gallery or private establishments. Because their work involves acquiring exhibits, organizing exhibitions, seminars, research etc. They are always in constant search for new energies to promote, acquire and document. As an artist, you should try to know the curators in your local environment then progress to the international landscape. Here are the names of few curators of African Origin who are making waves in the art scene toady.
- Okwui Enwenzor (Nigerian ) currently one of the top leading curators in the world and the Curator of the 56th Venice Biennale making him the first African-born curator in the exhibition’s 120-year history, according to Wikipedia . He is the director of the Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany. Enwezor was ranked 42 in ArtReview′s guide to the 100 most powerful figures in contemporary art: Power 100, 2010.
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- Simon Njami (Cameroonian) He is a bit philosophical, pushes boundaries and redefines ideas. One of my favourite. He is an independent curator and art critic and a writter. He wrote two popular biographies of James Baldwin and Léopold Sédar Senghor. Njami is the co-founder of Revue Noire, a journal of contemporary African and extra-occidental art. Njami is the curator of “Africa Remix”, showed in Düsseldorf (Museum Kunst Palast), London (Hayward Gallery), Paris (Centre Pompidou), Tokyo (Mori Museum), Stockholm (Moderna Museet) and Johannesburg (Johannesburg Art Gallery), from 2004 to 2007. He co-curated the first African Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He has the spirit of the Nigerian legendary musician Fela Kuti, especially for his smoking and radicalism.
- Bisi Silva ( Nigerian) founder and artistic director of Centre for contemporary art (CCA) Lagos. she is the artistic Director of Art x Lagos . She is The queen mother of contemporary Art from Africa.
- Koyo kouoh (Cameroonian) She is the founding artistic director of RaW Material Company, a center for art, knowledge and society in Darkar. she was the curator of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London and New York, and the 2016 Eva international.
- Nana Oforiatt Ayim (Ghanaian) One of the youngest in the list. She is the founder and director of the cultural research organization ANO in Ghana. According to Wikipedia,In 2016, she created the online version of the pan-African Cultural Encyclopaedia, “a large-scale documentation and archive project, dedicated to the re/ordering of knowledge, narratives and representations from and about the African continent”
- Bournaventure soh Ndikung (Cameroonian) a rather cute handsome gentleman who studied food biotechnology in Berlin, promoted medical biotechnology and then studied biophysics in Montpellier until the spirit of art caught him . He is the founder and art director of the art space SAVVY contemporary Berlin, where since 2010 numerous exhibitions with more than 45 artists from five continents have been shown. He is also the project initiator and chief editor of the journal SAVVY art.contemporary.african , a bilingual e-journal for critical texts on contemporary african art. He is a proof that its not important what your certificate says, but competence in whatever you lay your hands to do.
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