Prizm Art Fair presents physical and digital works exploring black existentialism

The Prizm Art Fair is back for its ninth exhibition showcasing international artists from the African diaspora, and this year organizers are showcasing physical and digital art.

The Miami-based fair is one of the preeminent spaces showcasing leading contemporary African artists from around the world. The fair now includes both physical works of art as well as non-fungible digital tokens, or NFTs, which are backed by blockchain technology.

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The year 2020 is often viewed by sociologists and journalists as a year of ‘racial reporting’, when many non-black people have become more aware of how darkness works in predominantly white spaces and within the confines of capitalism. .

Mikhaile Solomon, who is the founder, director and curator, said the theme of this year’s PRIZM Art Fair is Black Existentialism: questioning what it means to be black and African in a global context. He said the art on display at this year’s fair assesses blackness as it exists without any social pressure from the dominant culture in any country.

“We are highlighting a black existentialism as a framework in which to view the works,” Solomon said. “And black existentialism, put it simply, is essentially a theoretical understanding of darkness through what our lives would be essentially without what is expected of us from other perceived narratives.”

Contemporary art from people of African descent is still in fashion in the art market. There is a “The rise of African artIt won’t stop anytime soon, as investments in black artists and exhibitions are sparking interest around the world.

“There is a push towards fairness that really can’t be ignored,” Solomon said. “And as we evolve as human beings, I think people are starting to understand the importance of including contemporary voices in Africans and African art.”

Tessa alexander

“STILL I RISE” is by Tessa Alexander from Trinidad and Tobago. For this piece, Alexander used watercolor and collage on paper. It is presented in the virtual exhibition of PRIZM Art Fair:

NFTs, unique digital works of art secured by blockchain technology, are also making their debut in this year’s lineup.

Solomon says Prizm collectors have the option of purchasing digital art using cryptocurrency. If collectors resell the digital work, artists receive a percentage of the sale.

“It’s incredibly revolutionary for artists because it gives them leverage. In the long run, if there’s some sort of resale of their work, they can derive some kind of economic value from what I consider intellectual property, ”Solomon said.

“So you would buy the NFT, but we would also get your address and all that information, so that we could send you the physical part with the NFT. “

The inclusion of NFTs in the fair is part of a larger market effort that merges art with new technologies.

The Prizm Art Fair opens with a panel on black existential thought and textile art. The event takes place Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Red Rooster restaurant in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood.

The first panel in the discussion series, “Weaving Identity: A conversation on textile practice in the 21st century,” features award-winning artists Bisa Butler, Stephen Towns and Amber Robles-Gordon.

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