The third edition of AKAA - Also Known As Africa confirms the rise of this young fair

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The third edition of AKAA - Also Known As Africa confirms the rise of this young fair
Victoria Mann, founder of the art and design fair Also known as Africa (AKAA) poses during the vernissage of the third edition of the contemporary African arts exhibition on November 8, 2018 at the Carreau du Temple in Paris. Eric Feferberg / AFP.

PARIS.- The third edition of AKAA - Also Known As Africa closed on Sunday evening November 11th on an extremely positive note with 15,000 visitors in four days, including attendance by many important collectors, and very good sales.

The Global South connections highlighted this year by Victoria Mann, the fair director, were pushed forward by the 49 exhibitors as well as the 140 artists presented at AKAA. All were involved in raising awareness of this strong and innovative message, which was was so well received by the attending public.

The sales were very satisfying, even excellent for some exhibitors. This success is due to the artistic quality of the fair, recognized by so many attendees, while still maintaining the friendly and positive atmosphere that AKAA is now well known for.

Many of the featured artists were the subject of significant sales: the South African photographer Roger Ballen, his compatriot Kendell Geers, the painter Amadou Sanogo, or Justin Dingwall, the photographer Joana Choumali and Alexis Peskine among others...

The gallery owners are delighted with this edition, which kept all of its promises:

“For our first participation, a nice discovery of the very dynamic atmosphere of AKAA, beautiful meetings, new encounters, new collectors; and I believe a big success for this solo show of Sanogo. A real commercial success so we are delighted. The fair is very well organized, I cannot think of anything I would criticize. We also had the pleasure of meeting Parisian or French collectors, who may not discover our activity, but who discovered a painter - Amadou Sanogo. It was indeed a particularly pleasant sight to see, people were talking about it with a lot of interest and emotion.” Galerie Magnin A

“We are particularly pleased with this 3rd edition. We had participated in the 1st edition and we noticed a very good evolution in the attendance at the fair. Our booth attracted a lot of interest. We made sales and we intend to be present at the next edition because we have met a good clientele, important collectors, but also interesting and influential people in the art world.” Galerie 38

“We showed African-American artists, with a reception that was very positive. We made sales even though our prices were above the average at AKAA. From the very first day, the collectors were present. We met and saw many visitors: collectors, museum people, neophytes very curious about the works. There were good efforts on the part of the organization to bring several groups of people to our stand. There is a coherence to the fair, but not a homogeneity. The size of the fair is very human: exhibitors have time to explain who the artists are, the public can ask questions, and there is no tension between exhibitors, thanks to the generosity of the organizers. Collectors have adopted the fair, which has become a rendez-vous.” Galerie Maruani Mercier & Hadida

“I am very satisfied with the show. It’s size is perfect. I was surprised to see many international collectors, whom I usually meet in New York or in London, including English collectors, which is a nice change from the French audience. There is a specific international audience coming to this show which is great. There were only very positive echoes on this show: this 3rd edition was extraordinary, and it will only get better from here. Sales went very well, as long as we stayed within a range of reasonable prices. The atmosphere is excellent and there has been very good press.” Galerie Anne de Villepoix

“We had a nice start to AKAA. Sales started on the first day. We have seen great collections and foundations. We presented for the first time, exclusively for AKAA, this new series by Joana Choumali. Collectors were present. For our other artists, we had a lot of interest as well. I love the AKAA team, I really like Victoria Mann who listens and collaborates with us. It is important. We are happy and the experience is positive.” Galerie Loft

“I noticed that this year there were very important French and international collectors, as well as people who build important collections of African art. Collectors who had bought at my booth last year came back this year. I think this continuity is important and it is also very satisfying. Some of these collectors obviously see the value of what the fair and its galleries do. In fact, I had good sales, so it was a good experience for me. I think Banele Khoza’s work is very well received here in Paris.” Galerie Smith

The Rencontres AKAA, which took place in the AKAA Underground, were a great success both in attendance and recognition. Strong exchanges and lively discussions were appreciated by visitors throughout the weekend. The audience felt engaged and participated fully in the debates. To close each day, the Rencontres AKAA welcomed four musicians who transported the audience to warm and varied musical worlds. Finally, the performance of the artist Dalila Dalléas Bouzar was particularly noticed by the visitors who were invited to pose for the live production of their portrait.

For this third edition, and thanks to the partnership with ONOMO Hotels, the ONOMO Prize for Photography 2018 was organized. Steeve Bauras, a Martinican photographer represented by YCOS-Project, won the € 5,000 prize. His winning work has also found a buyer at the fair.

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