With access to some of the world’s most collectable artists, The Africa Channel presents a unique and exclusive view of contemporary African art.
Taking you on a visually stunning journey across the globe, African Masters reveals the story behind the African art scene, through in-depth interviews on location with world-renowned artists including El Anatsui, Yinka Shonibare and Yusuf Grillo and key players in the art world like André Magnin (French Curator and Art Dealer) and Bisi Silva (Curator at the Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos).
This new 6-part series created by The Africa Channel shows how this vibrant art scene is emerging as a dynamic global force, visiting studios in Senegal, galleries in New York, artistic residencies in Nigeria and auction houses in London. Following a flurry of major exhibitions (like African Art, New York, the Avant-Garde, MOMA and Exploring Hidden Histories at the V&A, London), African Masters brings for the first time to television the in-depth exciting story of this burgeoning Arts space.
Yinka Shonibare MBE, Wind Sculpture, 2013
Join us as we go behind the scenes and see how artists really work in their own studios. Find out the secrets of their methods, their inspiration and share their sometimes controversial views on today’s art world. As well as giving you an insight into the lives of established big names, we introduce you to a new generation of emerging artists who are making the art world sit up and listen.
Whether you’re an art buff or have never set foot in a gallery before, African Masters will bring you a fascinating insight into the world of contemporary African art today.
Episode 1: ‘Revelations’
This episode looks at some historical landmarks in the development of contemporary African art. See how the Western world denied the value of African art for generations, despite celebrated figures like Picasso clearly drawing inspiration from many designs and forms from the continent.
What does being African mean to today’s artists? How does their heritage and identity shape their work? Should art even be defined in this way and do artists accept being labelled or categorised?
Hidden truths and revelations help us understand where contemporary African art has come from and where it’s going.
Episode 2: ‘Creations’
This episode takes us on a global tour from New York to Dakar, London to Lagos, with exclusive and unrivalled access to the world’s leading contemporary African artists.
We visit artists who remain based in Africa and those who have made a new life overseas. Enter the workspaces and studios of artists working with a remarkable range of art forms. Bottle caps, sheet steel, charcoal, oil paints and petrol cans are amongst the materials that are being used to create some of the most sought after art works in the world.
We see what it takes to live and breathe as an artist and find out what they do, how they do it and where they do it.
Episode 3: ‘Going Global’
This episode focusses on the business and the fast-paced movement of contemporary African art. Never far away from artists’ studios, we meet the movers and shakers behind the emergence of contemporary African art on the global scene. Visit the artists that are defining the curve of the African art movement and meet gallery owners, high end collectors, auction houses and curators who discuss the impact and global reach of contemporary African art.
Meet the next generation of talent – the emerging artists who are making waves and taking the art world by storm.
Episode 4: Studio Sessions with El Anatsui and Ablade Glover
We go behind the scenes with world-renowned artists El Anatsui and Ablade Glover in their workspaces and studios in Nigeria and in Ghana. El Anatsui shows how his huge tapestries and installations are assembled from discarded items.
Episode 5: Studio Sessions with Sokari Douglas-Camp, Mary Evans and Soly Cissé
We visit artists who have made a new life overseas in London, and those who remain based in Africa. We enter the workspaces and studios of artists working with a remarkable range of art forms. Bottle caps, sheet steel, charcoal, oil paints and petrol cans are amongst the materials that are being used to create some of the most sought-after art works in the world.
Episode 6: Studio Sessions with Ousmane Sow, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Yusuf Grillo and Julien Sinzogan
We travel to Senegal to visit major francophone artists like scupltor Ousmane Sow (Senegal, France) and painter Julien Sinzogan (Senegal, France). We spend time with Nigerian artists Bruce Onobrakpeya and Yusuf Grillo in conversation, who give commentary on their methods, style and influences.
Meet the artists
Click on a name to see the artist’s profile: