• gerard van weyenbergh

Black Lives Matter marketing

Concretely committing to a better representation of cultural diversity is necessary.

Nevertheless, the strategies deployed by individual market professionals are puzzling as they seem to instrument artists in the name of a single identity or even to propel them through well-targeted ethnic marketing. The adventure of a Ghanaian artist, who has spent less than two years from a fairy tale to the throes of speculation, is informative in this regard.

Since the Black Lives Matter rebirth, many galleries have announced that black artists join them. But these merchants know the effects of right thinking and understand that buyers are now complaining that their collections are too "white" and want to fill in their gaps. David Zwirner, one of the most influential operators in the world, takes another step. Although the Covid-19 has forced it to reduce its workforce by 20%, it will open a new semi-commercial place managed by an entirely African-American team. Gallery owner Ebony L. Haynes, also responsible for an art market training program for black students at Yale University School of Art, will lead the program. Will the exhibition program privilege the recognition of an artistic practice over the declaration of identity? Will they underline a segmentation or, on the contrary, make multiple and "different artists" coexist as the notion of intersectionality now advocates, especially in America: the crossing of identities, those of social condition, sex, sexual preferences, gender… Answers in Spring in Manhattan.

A chapter of the Intelligence Report 2020 d'Artnet is devoted to the Amoako Boafo case. The context of its meteoric rise is different. Still, the levers remain usual: dealers sharpened by their flair, prescribing collectors (the Rubell Family), sumptuous and publicized social events, investors who bet on the secondary market. Born in 1984 in Accra, the artist lived there poorly by selling a few portraits for 100 dollars. In 2014, the Ghanaian moved to Vienna, where he still produced pictures of blacks exclusively, but in larger formats, influenced by Egon Schiele and a technique that would make his singularity: he painted more with his fingers than with brushes. In the spring of 2018, Kehinde Wiley - the artist who signed the portrait of Barack Obama - discovered him via Instagram. He buys works and recommends it to his gallery owners. A few weeks later, Boafoexhibits at Bennett Roberts in Los Angeles, all paintings are declared sold for 10,000 dollars. In 2019, it became the darling of fairs; prices climb to 25,000 dollars. Don and Mera Rubell, who had already contributed to the success of Sterling Ruby, Oscar Murillo, welcome him in residence to inaugurate their Rubell Museum in Miami. In 2020, Boafo is collaborating on the creation of the Dior Homme collection. On February 13, the astonishment is at its height. One of his paintings, welcome him in residence to inaugurate their Rubell Museum in Miami. In 2020, Boafo is collaborating on the creation of the Dior Homme collection. On February 13, the astonishment is at its height. One of his paintings, welcome him in residence to inaugurate their Rubell Museum in Miami. In 2020, Boafo is collaborating on the creation of the Dior Homme collection. On February 13, the astonishment is at its height. One of his paintings, The Lemon Bathing Suit, is sold for £ 675,000, more than thirteen times its estimate, at Phillips London. But we learn that it was Boafo himself, with the backing of investors, who bid to try to regain control of a market that was soaring and slipping away. The Lemon Bathing Suit was sold by a speculator who had acquired it a month earlier for $ 22,500! Since then, the web would have changed hands again for an undisclosed price. Money Matters, money matters, will Boafo burn his fingers there?


© Le Journal des Arts