Monday, March 9, 2015

J.D'OKhai Ojeikere, André Magnin and me

André Magnin on his terrace Blvd Voltaire, Paris

Yesterday I was photographing around the bush and beaches of Auckland's inner harbor reaches. Among other things I made a picture of some strange seaweed formations. The seaweed brought to mind the photographs of J.D'OKhai Ojeikere and the book of his work that friend and curator André Magnin gave me in 2001. I have to add here that André's inscription in the book read I was in New Zealand in 1987 but in Paris in 2001, thank god. Funny.

Harvey Benge - Seaweed March 2015

The sandstone bank above the beach was carved with graffiti. Bizarrely, the name André stood out. A reminder that everything is connected.

Harvey Benge - Graffiti March 2015

For comparison here are some of J.D'OKhai Ojeikere's remarkable photographs. And the book that André Magnin produced an edited, published by Scalo in association with Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain.

J.D'OKhai Ojeikere

And a few words about André Magnin. In 1986 André Magnin began his research into contemporary art in non-Western cultures, looking particularly at Africa specifically for the Magicians of the Earth exhibition at Paris's Pompidou Centre and the Grande Halle de la Villette, for which André was Deputy Commissioner. In 1989 he established the important Pigozzi Collection of contemporary African art which he directed for twenty years. André Magnin has been responsible for numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums, art centers and foundations worldwide: Out of Africa (Saatchi Gallery, London), African Art Now (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) J'aime Cheri Samba (Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris), Arts of Africa (Grimaldi Forum, Monaco), 100% Africa (Guggenheim Bilbao), Why Africa? (Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli), Africa? una nuova storia (Complesso del Vittoriano, Roma), African Stories (Marrakech) ... In 2009, he founded Magnin-A whose mission is to promote contemporary African art on the international art market.
You can go to the Magnin-A website HERE.

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