From possibilities to products: a message from FNB JoburgArtFair Director Mandla Sibeko.
It is with awe and pride that we enter our second decade as the FNB JoburgArtFair. To be given an opportunity to showcase the rise of African contemporary art to an international audience has been an honor and each year we can feel the critical mass grow. Creating a mirror for African contemporary art to the world is a critical part of telling African stories to a larger audience.
Throughout the past decade, the FNB JoburgArtFair has remained a South African product well versed in the specifics of the present moment on the African continent. The FNB JoburgArtFair has continually responded to the needs of this art economy by bringing together art audiences around a host of visual art options over one weekend. By virtue of our positioning as the largest collection of African contemporary art under one roof, the FNB JoburgArtFair has continued to fulfill a function beyond that of traditional art fairs. The fair has a mandate to bring collectors, curators and thought leaders together to discuss and debate around African contemporary art, as well as network to set up future projects and collaborations. In this way the Fair has grown audiences and possibilities for African contemporary visual art each year.
We see this as a vital part of our drive: to continually create opportunities for growth, market access and discussion around contemporary African art, here in Johannesburg. We believe that it is important for this discussion and these presentations to take place in Johannesburg, where a diverse, local, transcontinental and international audience can experience African contemporary art.
First National Bank has been our partner in this venture for the past 11 years. Together we have crafted projects, such as the FNB Art Prize that enables artists to further their careers. We have also enjoyed a long and robust partnership centered around mentorship with the Gauteng Provincial Government. We welcome Cartier again this year and BMW for the first time. The fair depends in many ways on the support and enthusiasm of galleries that showcase African contemporary art. It is their efforts that ultimately sustain the market and continually produce the content that the fair curates into a weekend of visual arts celebration. Finally we acknowledge the artists that bring their work into the FNB JoburgArtFair space and so offer our visitors more engagement with African contemporary visual art.
FNB JoburgArtFair Director