The much-anticipated FNB Art Joburg online fair and Open City weekend in and around Rosebank unveiled some of Africa’s leading galleries, artists and artwork on the 28th to 31st of October 2021. FNB Art Joburg has become a platform for artists to showcase their art as an expression of themselves and the societies that they live in. Open City is a brand new addition to the fair and features a host of elements ranging from restaurants, pop-up galleries, books, movies, etc., that people can visit in person. The online fair will be open until the 7th of November.
“The evolution of FNB Art Fair to FNB Art Joburg is more than just a fair but a platform and a call to support the creative arts economy in South Africa and Africa. This year we came up with a new concept called Open City, which is really about encouraging South Africans to start engaging and exploring our beautiful city – Johannesburg,” says Bonga Sebesho, Head of Sponsorships at FNB.
Whilst art is a big focus each year, emphasis is also placed on growing and developing artists and their skill of art. The FNB art prize winner forms an integral part of the annual FNB Art Joburg platform, and this year the Art Prize winner is Wycliffe Mundopa from Zimbabwe. Bearing witness to the lives of the most vulnerable in his community, his artworks consistently speak to social and political upheavals of life in urban Zimbabwe. In this context, the lives of women in particular frame his practice and social commentary through his artwork.
“The FNB Art Prize has become one of the most coveted visual art prizes on the African continent ensuring home based recognition for artists on the continent. As the 11th FNB Art Prize recipient, Mundopa joins a prestigious list of previous winners since the launch of the prize in 2011. He receives a cash prize as well as a solo exhibition which opens to the public at the Johannesburg Art Gallery on 31 October 2021,” says Sebesho.
“The broader arts and culture sector was one of the hardest hit with the COVID-19 lockdowns, curfews and venue capacity restrictions. Finding ways to support the industry safely, will be a crucial aspect of rebuilding the economy, giving businesses the best opportunity to get back on their feet, as we seek to rebuild the economy and stimulate valuable employment,” says Andiswa Bata, Co-Head of SME, FNB Commercial.
Sebesho adds, “The pandemic has been challenging for our artists – so much so that many businesses that contribute to this creative economy have had to close down – causing artists revenue to be severely impacted. However, given the circumstances it’s refreshing to see that their creativity continues through this period and is reflected in the art that they produce.”
“It is our responsibility now as we re-open the country to start supporting the arts economy. It is such an important pillar to our economic recovery, and we believe as FNB that it’s important for all of us no matter where you are in South Africa and whichever form you can use – to support and lend a helping hand. You can start by going to your local restaurant, buying a piece of art and support your artists. It’s an important way of re-opening up all sectors of the economy,” concludes Sebesho.
Wycliffe Mundopa, A Rose by Every Other Name Part 1, 2021, oil and spray paint on canvas 349.5 x 210cm