Contemporary African Art Exhibition Series

As It Is! Contemporary Art From Africa & The Diaspora is an unprecedented series of exhibitions taking place for the first time in Dubai.

This exhibition’s four-part series explores and celebrates the creative vigour of over 20 astounding artists from the African continent and its diverse and far-reaching Diaspora. The project focuses on the artist’s voice and their pursuit to capture an audience through an aesthetic that is distinctly personal, but breathtakingly all-encompassing. It articulates an increasingly evolutionary desire to sever stereotypical thought modes about ‘African art’ and an African aesthetic or identity; a notion widely perpetuated in the mainstream art world for so long. As It Is! aims to challenge these widely assumed belief systems, by giving the artist a platform to present their narrative, as they wish it to be viewed, heard and interpreted.

Founded and curated by Nigerian born London based curator, and African art enthusiast, Annabelle Nwankwo – Mu’azu, the series of shows will bring to the fore a diverse range of international artists who wish to be critiqued for their creativity, and to be seen as individuals rather than a collective.

However, as a postscript, As It Is! will extol and celebrate the greatness of their African heritage, which directly or indirectly is an overriding influence in the creative passage. Many of the artists live like nomads, between the ‘motherland’ and the Diaspora, whilst others are predominately based on the African continent - a generation of dynamic artists, both established and emerging originating from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Cameroun, Senegal, Ethiopia and South Africa. All of these artists are exponents of African visual culture, innovators, free styling and captivating as they purse their goals.

Featured artists include recognised darlings of the international art world, El Anatsui, the celebrated Ghanaian sculptor, to emerging but equally praised Nigerian-born, painter, Obiageli Okigbo, installation artist and painter, Ayo Aina, Ugandan, US based - actor and photographer, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, and hip-hop commentator Rushay Booysen.