©2019 by The Olympia Project LLC



I am an independent curator whose primary interest is in providing a platform for the stories and work of emerging artists who are engaging with historically overlooked and occasionally discomforting narratives. I seek to promote an egalitarian view into the art world, making it accessible for artists and audience members alike who may have typically been excluded. Primary is the development of a conversation about the world as it is versus the world as it should be, and how current political, social, and economic conditions and considerations play into an artist’s ability to create and engage.

  • Sophie Olympia

The nine best things I saw at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair this year

Updated: Mar 28, 2019

Since its inception seven years ago (wow, time flies!), the Cape Town Art Fair has been one of my favorites to visit. I'm biased - I consider Cape Town home, and the fair conveniently falls on the same week as my grandmother's birthday each year - but I also think that, in a world where the art market still heavily revolves around the west, and the fair cycle even more so, it's a blessing to attend a fair with a different focus. To be sure, ICTAF does not stand alone, and it was not the first. There are more fairs cropping up in Africa, South America, and Asia each year, and many of them are phenomenal - and calling my name - this is just the one I get to visit regularly.

One of the things I like most about the fair is its set up (although I often find the layout a bit confusing). There is a lot of space at the fair for arts organizations and non-traditional galleries which helps add to the allure of the fair, for me. There is also Tomorrows/Today, a section focusing on emerging artists and giving them solo exhibitions, curated by fair curator Tumelo Mosaka. This is one of the most exciting parts each year; the opportunity to really get to know emerging artists, in booths dedicated to giving them space to truly tell their stories. The fair's SOLO section also gives real space to emerging and mid-career artists, addressing thematic issues with their work. (To see more about the other sections of the fair, or to learn more about the fair itself, you can see their website here. Tickets for the 2020 fair will go on sale in September.)

Below are the nine things I liked best at the fair (at least, according to memory and photos) without explanation. All of the works are by African artists from across the continent, and all confront the idea of "African Art" in different ways. Do any of these works speak to you? If so, why? If you tell me, I'll tell you!

1. Chris Soal / Guns & Rain

Chris Soal, "For though clothed we still erode, those who we call our own," (2019) at Guns & Rain in the Tomorrows/Today Section at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair

2. Penny Siopis / Stevenson Gallery

Penny Siopis at Stevenson Gallery in the Main Section of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair

3. Uólofe Griot / ELA Espaço Luanda Arte

Uólofe Griot, "Ngoni #5," "Ngoni #5," "Ngoni #8," and "Ngoni #9," (2018) at ELA Espaço Luanda Arte in the Main Section of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair

4. Nelo Teixeira / THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE

Nelo Teixeira's installation at THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE in the Main Section of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair

5. Pierre Vermeulen / Smac Gallery

6. Dennis Osadebe / Christopher Moller Gallery

Dennis Osadebe, "Hide and Seek" and "Garden of Kidding" at Christopher Moller Gallery in the Main Section of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair

7. Troy Makaza / First Floor Gallery Harare (Winner of the Tomorrows/Today Prize)

Troy Makaza, winner of the Tomorrows/Today Prize, at First Floor Gallery Harare during the Investec Cape Town Art Fair

8. Dimitri Fagbohoun / Officine Dell'Immagine Contemporary Art

Dimitri Fagbohoun, "Métamorphosis," (2017) at Officine Dell'Immagine Contemporary Art in the Main Section of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair

9. Paulo Nazareth / Stevenson Gallery

Portion of Paulo Nazareth's "Enkosi, Umoya Wabuya" at Stevenson Gallery in the Main Section of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair

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