Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Raquel Villar-Pérez

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Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien


There are many aspects of Messouma Manlanbien’s work that attracted me and that I enjoyed when visiting the exhibition; probably the most obvious one is the focus on women as the central theme not only in the exhibition but in Marie-Claire’s work in general, and the prevailing stereotypes that many of us battle against on a daily basis, the acknowledgement and celebration of our foremothers teachings also moved me. I appreciated the artist’s attempt to contribute with her work to these striking debates.

Raquel Villar-Pérez on the work of Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien

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Phoebe Boswell


I have connected previously with Phoebe’s work particularly when it has addressed notions of not-belonging, and women’s body as a mean of power, but I must admit, never to at such deep level. Extremely poetic and utterly relatable, Phoebe’s seminal exhibition has meant a place for solace and shared emotions of our most intimate selves.

Raquel Villar-Pérez on the last exhibition of Phoebe Boswell

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Kyle Meyer: Interwoven


Meyer’s tapestries are disturbingly provocative, layered and convoluted at the same time than explosively colorful and abstruse. They conceit and reveal, putting into play numerous symbolisms, but with a clear mission: bringing to light the realities that gay men in Swaziland face on a daily basis.

The American artist Kyle Meyer in conversation with Raquel Villar Pérez from London
Unidentified 100, Courtesy of the artist

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Godfried Donkor


I’m really fascinated by the fact that we think that history is truth, but it is not. History is what someone said was the truth at the time. Art is not the truth, but art can be truth; it can also be the fantasy of the truth, an exaggeration of the truth, or it could be simply beautiful or simply horrific. (…) The work that I make is part of English history, is not just of black history. It is reciprocal. Histories are entwined.

The artist Godfried Donkor – born in Ghana, London based – in conversation with Raquel Villar-Pérez
The First Day of the Yam Custom, 1817, 2017. Source: Gallery 1957

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Talisman, group show curated by Yinka Shonibare


Understanding art as a talisman, a device that possess transformative energy, that is a vehicle for change, Shonibare has collated a heterogeneous survey of works by African artists, its Diaspora and of other backgrounds but who do not necessarily conform to a western vision of art and are sensitive towards African or Black matters.

Raquel Villar-Pérez on the group show Talisman in the Age of Difference curated by Yinka Shonibare.
Umbilical Progenitor by Zak Ové (2018)

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