By Japhet Alakam
IT was indeed a celebration of the success story of ART X Lagos, West Africa’s premier international art fair, as art collectors, gallery owners, artists, musicians, performers and other lovers of art testified of how Art X has revitalised the art business in Nigeria.
Responding to questions about the fair during the announcement of activities lined up for the third edition of ART X Lagos in Lagos, the various speakers commended the founder for bringing the desired change in art.
According to the organisers, this year’s event will attract a potpourri of works as internationally renowned artist, Yinka Shonibare, leads some of Africa’s most sought-after, established and emerging artists, as well as leading galleries in this year’s art fair. The art fair which will feature 18 international galleries, is scheduled to hold from Friday, November 2, to Sunday November 4, 2018, at The Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Building on the success of previous editions, which hosted 15,000 visitors collectively, and continuing with its ambition to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and the diaspora, the 2018 fair will host 18 prestigious galleries from different countries.
The 18 exhibiting galleries have been chosen by a Selection Committee led by Advisory Board members, N’Goné Fall, the renowned Senegalese curator, art critic and cultural consultant, and Femi Lijadu, one of Nigeria’s most respected art collectors and leading commercial lawyer.
As part of its pan-African identity, widening Nigeria’s connection to the contemporary African art world, ART X Lagos is proud to welcome East African artists to the fair for the first time, featuring critically acclaimed artists such as Kenya’s Paul Onditi and Cyrus Kabiru.
This year’s fair will welcome internationally renowned artist, Yinka Shonibare, MBE, as its 2018 keynote artist, who will be celebrated with a highly anticipated exhibition, exploring his career highlights. Other events include ART X Talks to be curated by Missla Libsekal, featuring a series of exciting and engaging talks from key stakeholders in Africa’s art economy, interactive Projects – curated by A Whitespace Creative Agency, a solo exhibition tagged: Scraps from Mama’s Floor by 2018 ART X Prize with Access winner, Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, ART X Live!, the live art and music performance, featuring some of Africa’s most talented rising artists, curated by Lanre Masha, with Odunsi the Engine as creative director and a host of others.
Speaking at the event, Tokini Peterside, ART X Lagos Founder and Director said: “After the success of ART X Lagos 2017, we are delighted to return for a third edition. We are validated in our decision to develop this vital platform for the growth and increased visibility of African artists and galleries. This would have been impossible without the phenomenal support of the galleries, sponsors and partners, who took a huge leap of faith and committed to support us from ground zero, for which we are most grateful. In six weeks, we will open the doors to ART X Lagos 2018. We look forward to welcoming a vast and varied, local and international audience as we seek to reinforce Lagos’ position as an emergent cultural capital on our continent.”
The ART X Talks will hold on Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4, including a keynote talk with Yinka Shonibare, MBE.
Interactive Projects, curated by A Whitespace Creative Agency, ART X Lagos 2018 will feature experiential platforms that explore ideas influenced by the exhilarating essence of Lagos. Olalekan Jeyifous and Wale Lawal have created a virtual reality installation, Mad Horse City, which explores a futuristic imagination of Lagos in the year 2115. Meanwhile, Lagos Drawings is an Interactive Installation, by Karo Akpokiere which combines digital technology, perceptible sounds and visual illustrations inspired by Lagos textures.
ART X Live!, the live art and music performance, will see performances by Teni the Entertainer, Ghanaian musician, Amaarae, and BOJ, accompanied by some of Lagos’ finest emerging visual and graphic artists. The theme this year invites guests to indulge in an electric exploration of Africa’s rich musical history with a celebration of our heroes past – the icons, legends and sounds that have shaped the continent’s contemporary musical landscape.
ART X Lagos 2018 is made possible by the generous, committed support of its sponsors.