Art X Lagos 2017 boldly reinforced Nigeria and Africa’s growing credentials on the global contemporary art scene.
Immediately following the VIP preview, guests, art aficionados and Lagos and international gentry put their paces at the VIP After Party, hosted by Voltaire, the exclusive members-only arts club.
Day 2 saw the official opening of the fair to the general public, as Smile, an outdoor installation by Olatunde Alara, commissioned by Absolut to tackle the theme ‘Artist as Citizen’, welcomed guests to the venue.
A colouring danfo, designed by Olalekan Jeyifous and curated by A Whitespace Creative Agency, was also stationed at the entrance to the exhibition hall, inviting guests to indulge their creative impulses.
On loan from Access Bank to the fair and welcoming guests to the exhibition hall, were the famous seven wooden sculptures by Nigeria’s greatest modern artist Ben Enwuonwu MBE.
The works were originally commission by the Daily Mirror in 1960 and had never, until now, been publicly displayed in Nigeria.
The main exhibition floor was home to 14 exhibiting galleries and 65 artists on show included the Nigerian-born, British-based, globally renowned artist and sculptor Yinka Shonibare MBE; Zanele Muholi (South Africa); Jeremiah Quarshie (Ghana) amongst others.
In addition, four independent artists, Polly Alakija, Rom Isichei, Lakin Ogunbanwo and Oluseye presented a selection of their works.
In addition to the exhibitions, the programme of events included a series of talks by eminent artists, including Lemi Ghariokwu, the mastermind behind Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti’s album artwork; Ed Keazor; Stacy Hardy from Chimurenga South Africa; and Olu Amoda.
The second day closed with a loud bang, as ART X Live! with Absolut roared into the early hours of Day 3. The 2017 edition tagged ‘Electric Africa: The Digital Orchestra’, saw a unique fusion of digital art by Williams Chechet &Osaze Amadasun with electric music.
As expected young art enthusiasts turned out in large numbers to watch Poe, Tomi Thomas, Wavy the Creator, Eko Samba and producers Aye and Leriq team up to deliver an unparalleled live music experience.
Speaking at the closing, Tokini Peterside thanked all the sponsors, the advisory board and members of the public who have made ART X Lagos the success it has become.