Since the grand opening of Zeitz MOCAA in recent months, the African art space has experienced a transformation. This beautiful contemporary museum in Cape Town has breathed new life into the African art space and has given African artists hope. It’s been an opportunity to showcase unique African culture and inspire people to support our raw, natural talent. While this industry continues to undergo a transformation, you will slowly start to see a shift in international trends, inspired by our local art.
The younger generations are being exposed to African art and are starting to appreciate it, while the older generations have taken on a fresh new perspective to modern-day art. Traditional art has always had the power to define African art, but with modern technology influencing the creative space as a whole, these new developments are helping to search for, and nurture, new talent. The digital world also provides existing artists with accessibility to other works of art and competition they might seek inspiration from.
How Africa art is changing
With an international focus on how art in Africa is changing, there are plenty of initiatives in place to change people’s perceptions of African art and what they perceive it to be. In essence, this type of art creation is unique and unlike any other in the world. African artists focus on many different colours, images, props and human features that represent different emotions and feelings within the African community.
Only now that digital and technological art techniques are rising, people are starting to praise art that deserved to be praised many years ago. Going forward, people need to look beyond these tools and learn to appreciate art for what it is, not the glamour behind it. African art has always possessed deep, meaningful stories, so it’s important for consumers to start appreciating these works of art.
How access to art is growing
In South Africa, there has been a rapid increase in art festivals, galleries, museums and markets that have opened up in recent months. First Thursdays, which take place in Cape Town and Johannesburg, have helped to raise awareness about local art and encourage people to show support to these artists in the form of an exciting, cultural event. While it might not be centred around African art, it has certainly provided artists and creative enthusiasts with a platform to view and appreciate art in South Africa.
There are also some new creative publications and initiatives, such as the incredible ‘One Source Life’ campaign, that truly resonates with younger generations. These new mediums allow access to African art and give praise to new talents that might be of interest to you.
The beauty of African art is that there are so many different kinds of art, created using different techniques. Because of that, people who require access to different works can find what they’re looking for with the click of a button. From contemporary and traditional art to urban graffiti, pop culture, digital art and more, art can be found in many different forms. Be it in a museum, gallery or online, these growing platforms have made it possible for upcoming artists as well as the community at large to seek inspiration. Each scene attracts a different target audience, therefore there will always be availability.
In a school or university environment, there has been a greater focus on creative education than ever before. More universities are starting to assist students with their passions by offering in-depth art programmes with practical guides on how to develop skills in the art world. They also teach students how to create a sustainable business around their talents, making use of the correct digital tools.
Joining this collaborative culture
Art has become a joint culture. It’s an opportunity to connect communities and celebrate achievements across the continent. Of course, there are always going to be social, cultural or political barriers to art, but it encourages people to learn more and respect each other. There are plenty of opportunities out there where you can learn and grow in your trade. Digital is a unique platform that artists should leverage to make the most of their talent and create awareness around this creative transformation period. Art is an important part of African heritage and where we are today. The more we share and celebrate being proudly South African by encouraging creativity, the more accessible art will become for new a