Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

NEO TO LOVE. The work of Neo Matloga


Matloga’s work is political, personal and universal at the same time. Growing up in a deeply troubled, racist society does leave its traces. These are counterbalanced by family life, love, friendship and the joy of living.

Machtel Leij on Neo Matloga
(first published: July 4, 2019)

Read more »

Thebe Phetogo


Engaging with the historical economies of racist imagery through citation and repetition, his art shows how “visual referents circulating in different geographic and exhibitionary context generate their own image worlds,” countering the commodification or invisibility of black bodies.

Jean-Christophe Maur on Thebe Phetogo
Blackbody Composite siren, 2020, courtesy Kó and the artist
(first published: November 5, 2021

Read more »

Abdoulaye Konaté

KonateL'oisseau rouge 2016 Cover

“The wealth of African countries does not have to do with money, it is their culture and their traditions. Therefore it is so important that we process traditional culture in our work and at the same time show that we are open for external influences.” Abdoulaye Konaté

Rob Perrée on the Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté
L’Oisseau Rouge, 2016.
(first published October 3, 2017)

Read more »

Kwesi Botchway: Rumors of Blackness


With his idiosyncratic portraits, he manages to judge current art history without neglecting its achievements. The exhibition Rumors of Blackness is a prime example. The fact that he also involves his environment, his community, his African origin in his artistic practice, makes him an exceptional artist.

Rob Perrée on Kwesi Botchway
Soul Contact, 2021
(first published: March 5, 2022)

Read more »

Portrait of a Friendship 5: Langston Hughes and Gilbert Price


This is the 5th article in a series of articles on the friendship between ‘two’ African American artists, a “friendship beyond understanding”. In every article The Harlem Renaissance is the context of the story. This article is about the friendship between the poet Langston Hughes and the opera singer Gilbert Price.

Rob Perrée tries to answer the questions the friendship evokes.
First published September 2020
Langston Hughes (photographer unknown)

Read more »