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Dissolving Stereotypes Concerning Contemporary African Art

One positive facet of globalisation is the fusion of creative elements from various cultures of the world. The essence of this global shift has drastically changed the contemporary South African art market, rendering post modern representations of this great continent, its people and creatures in new and enlightening contexts. Modern African artists work to explore new concepts by interpreting them within their indigenous traditions or by reflecting their authentic African situation or experience in their art work.

However, maybe it is less the content or style of the works than the origin, location or structure of the artist that exhibit them. If you talk about the contemporary art world today you are really referring to a world of art. Modern art cites from Sao Paolo to London, from Kassel to Cape Town all embrace an array of artists and cultures from the four corners of the globe, many of whom were born in Africa. Who are these global artists? And when they make art, do they make African Art? Or do they make modern African art? Contemporary Art from Africa or Postmodern African Art? Are these descriptions only applicable for artists that are from Africa? Or who live in Africa?

Postmodern African Artists Endure a Mixed Blessing.

Defining the contemporary artists’ identity based on cultural or geographical boundaries has always been applied, especially in the African case. Unfortunately for many postmodern African artists this is a mixed blessing. Possessing African roots can be seen as a source of pride, an irrelevant fact, or a perpetual curse. Western stereotypes are steadfast and hard to eliminate. Western cultural presuppositions have negatively affected the presentation and interpretation of contemporary African art. In the Washington Post the Tanzanian artist Kiure Msangi quoted the reaction of a journalist: “Do you use acrylic paint? But that is not African!” Kiure Msangi proceeded: “If I would have used in some canvases acrylic paint with cow dung, I am sure the critics would have loved it”..

Can the World’s Contemporary Art Culture Benefit from the African Experience?

Although the stereotypes still exist, there is a growing upward trend in the sale and exhibition of contemporary “African Art”. Both collectors and the general public are investing in exciting vibrant paintings, sculptures, installations and digital art. These contemporary art collections bring delight and financial reward, while enriching many homes with modern form and colour.

The 21st century has been with us for some time and “African Art” is beginning to solidify the respect it has gained in recent years. This contemporary art should not be discarded as a strange sub-category, but be recognised for its sophistication and quality. These modern works of art are being produced by a professional and ethnically diverse art community that spans the globe.

Introducing Exceptional Artists!

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Monika Rudzinski

Abstract pieces to conceptual works, she evokes emotion & expression.

Monika Rudzinski was Born in Poland, she immigrated with her parents to South Africa. Monika travelled Europe at the end of 1998, which gave her the opportunity to visit her homeland. Her work thus often reflects the influence and diversity stemming from both her European and African backgrounds. With vast and diverse talents in the art field, she creates a variety of artworks using a wide range of media from vibrant fabric paintings, children’s art, commercial designs, conceptual works, (laced and la yered with intricate detail), African art to contemporary & abstract pieces, ceramics and sculpture.

“I am very versatile and explore many directions; therefore I have pieces for sale in a variety of price ranges. There's something to entice everyone... I hope you enjoy the journey with me...”

"Yellow Gold"

Price Range US$68-2,342

Will Alves

Passionate Pop Art with humour and sexuality.

Will Alves is a Pop Artist based in Cape Town. His multi-media work is based on retro advertising from the 50's and 70's.. By combining and collaging many styles into multi-media artworks, his work highlights elements of campy satirism and nostalgic media influences. His favorite artists are Warhol and Lichtenstein. South African artists that inspire him the most are pop artist Nuno da Cruz and landscape artist Walter Meyer.

“I don’t believe in sticking to one style, rather I work in various styles, each one linking to another, as one creative experience opens doors to another…..”

"Journey 1"

Price Range US$152-3,512

Dane Willers

African Wildlife, Landscapes & Lifestyle

Dane Willers, after 30+ years of Oil Painting, is a well established and internationally recognised artist. He has produced around a thousand works in this time – works that has found their way all over the world. Dane has an intimate knowledge of the African bush, Culture and Lifestyle; he is renowned for his depiction of the unique Botswana landscape, Wildlife and rural scenes.

“My art - and that which I convey and teach to my students - portray the greatness of creation. It attempts to be true to that which is around us daily - but which we fail to see in true perspective in this rushed and seemingly material world of gain”


Price Range US$234-11,591

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This topical article on the subject of contemporary art in South Africa was written by Deri Jenkins (BETEC, BA, BSc) on behalf South African Artists. This article can be reproduced without being altered providing you include a link back to Contemporary Art by South African Artists with this URL:

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