Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Raquel Villar-Pérez

text: email

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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Rehema Chachage


It is hard to talk about how my work is perceived. I think it’s received well but there have to be enough critics from the continent reviewing it for me to learn how it is perceived. When I started, people doing the kind of work I do in my country were negligible though some existed in other countries. All I can say as my mother often says, ‘the future is abundant’.

Raquel Villar-Pérez in conversation with Dar es Salaam based Rehema Chachage (1987)

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Anthea Hamilton

AntheaHamilton 01 (2)

The Squash is playful, humorous, inquiring, and subtly irreverent. Anthea Hamilton’s latest project is a witty response to what Tate Britain represents: the maxim referent of establishment art.

Raquel Villar-Pérez on the Tate project of Anthea Hamilton.
The Squash, by Anthea Hamilton. Image sourced from The Telegraph Newspaper

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Manuel Mathieu: reflections on abstract painting and trauma


“My understanding of painting is the language of abstraction, and by abstraction I mean a world of ideas, a world of complex thoughts, a world of imagination. I believe that a descriptive approach is actually arming a subject. The more it is defined, the more it is reduced. Trying to stay open, works better for me when it comes to create strong links with reality, with facts, with my understanding of what it is to paint. …”

Raquel Villar-Pérez in conversation with Manuel Mathieu
Irma, 2017, Courtesy of the artist

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