Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Tirzo Martha: No Excuses!


The twenty-some works sit scattered around the large exhibition hall and the first impression is nothing less than overwhelming.

Edo Dijksterhuis on Tirzo Martha

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Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Poet

BOOM Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hollywood Africans, 1983, Whitney Museum of American Art, ARS, New York, ADAGP, Paris_preview

Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of the most famous artists at the moment. He died almost 30 years ago at the age of 27. A lot of artists are influenced by him, especially black artists. His work is popular among young people. I am wondering how much of a poet he was. He started his career with texts on walls in lower Manhattan, in a lot of his drawings and paintings texts play an important role.

Rob Perrée on the poet Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Hollywood Africans, 1983 (Whitney Museum of American Art/ARS New York/ADAGP, Paris)


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Khaya Sineyile


At the crux of Khaya Sineyile’s work is an artist who is cultivating an alternative consciousness regarding how artists from his background are perceived, he is an artist seeking to alter the manner in which their works are received. His work is barren of that apologetic sentiment, where the social context of the township is perpetuated to be the quintessential context for cultural, historic and contemporary passivity in relation to the powers that be.

Themba Tsoti on Khaya Sineyile
Crippled Economy, 2017.

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Sisipho Ngodwana: On Misbehaving Cultural Capital


Thulile Gamedze reflects on the urgency of creative, transdisciplinary practices for black women in postcolonial spaces, thinking through artist, collaborator in iQhiya collective (1), and friend Sisipho Ngodwana’s work.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and New York

BOOMJean-Michel Basquiat, Self Portrait, 1984, Provate colelction_preview

Basquiat was educated by New York which quite literally became his canvas and eventually also his coffin.(….) Basquiat’s life, work and death mirrored New York’s own cycle of growth, destruction and rebirth and is so linked to it that his reputation is almost as notorious as the city itself.

Two quotes from this essay of Christabel Johanson on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s exhibition in The Barbican Centre in London
Self Portrait, 1984 (Private collection)
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