Grafikama Exhibition: Modern Graphic Art from Africa Rules!

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Yet another day, yet another art exhibition to visit! In France, when in doubt, go check out some art. Love it or hate it, ultimately, who cares?—what matters most is having an opinion and feeling something, anything, even boredom or disdain.

Yesterday’s Italian-style park and modern art exhibit wasn’t my tasse de thé. I was indifferent to the artists’ work. But tonight, I’m still excited about the Grafikama exhibition we visited in the afternoon and I’m already planning to go back before it ends on Friday. Go figure.

Grafikama is the third and last part of a cycle of exhibitions dedicated to graphic creation around the world, initiated by Pick Up Production and the artist Kazy Usclef for the Voyage à Nantes. This year, African artists are in the spotlight: for two weeks, in June, 13 of them worked in an old industrial building, hidden from public view. Then it was turned into a lively place of experimentation and artistic conception for the months of July and August.

First of all, the building was fascinating, with high ceiling and a lot of light. Visually, the art is stunning: bold colours, geometrical patterns and different styles highlight themes that speak to me—questions about history, boundaries, and borders, the ambiguous relations between African and Western countries, identity and immigration. At first glance, the artwork looks naive but it’s actually more subversive than it seems.

In a way, the artwork reminded me of our travels, Latin America, the mosaic of cultures we live in, this colourful yet rebellious world I enjoy.

It inspired me. Merci les artistes!

Picture taken by Mark

Picture taken by Mark

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

Grafikama (Service peinture), contemporary graphic creations from African artists

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

5 Comments

      • Well, I would say I am still exploring the art forms and I do not have a strong opinion on what I do not like, maybe just yet; I did not explore much of museum or exhibitions in India. I surfed for art mostly online; pretty lame, eh? I went to the art exhibit of Vigee le brun at National Art Gallery about a month ago and found her painting style very impressive; a friend who was with me felt suffocated by the art, coz of “What it represents” (in his words); I knew what he was talking about, the ignorance to the plight of French peasant population of the very same time; nonetheless, I was really impressed by the talent and techniques of the woman.

        Last week I went back to check out Picasso’s work at the same place; well 🙂 my wife and I spent a while in that gallery. I could feel losing myself from my present reality and into the world he had etched. I still think about what I saw, although to be fair, it’s just been few days 🙂

        These were works I really liked, for different reasons of course. Another time when I was at the National Art Gallery; I had been mesmerized by a large print of a very beautiful photograph of a closed door on an almost broken wall.

        There has been works I did not like; however I hardly remember them, it is just as well 🙂

        • lol 🙂 I just realized, that what I answered for wasn’t really your question, pardonnez-moi 🙂

          These photographs are of kind-of-stuff I would like; I also liked the work in your post “L’Atelier and Le Temple du Goût”

          but an empty canvas, excusez-moi! (unless, there was something about the wall that was part of the art :))

          • No, you did actually answer my vague question! I asked it because the other day, I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever heard of famous Indian visual artists or famous Indian art museums. I’m sure there are artists, we just don’t know them in this part of the world!

            I like the way you describe your “rencontre avec l’art”. It’s a bit of a magical experience when one piece just speaks to you, makes you react. I can rely to this.

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