NB – Viewing rooms of the FInAB collection still open till 31-03-2023
OpenArtExchange is looking back on a great first Festival International des Arts du Benin (FInAB), a grand bi-annual festival celebrating art across all disciplines in the three main cultural cities Cotonou, Ouidah and Porto Novo. It was an important next step for cultural life in Benin to make, following the successful grand national overview exhibition “Benin Art Yesterday and Today” at the presidential palace late last year to showcase the 26 ancient Dahomey artefacts returned by France in combination with contemporary art works of 34 selected Beninese artists.
For the first time in history, the Beninese government supported the organization of such grand event, recognizing the importance of arts and culture also for the economic future of Benin. The extensive program contained a wide variety of shows and performances: From major exhibitions showcasing mastodonts like Fadairo and Konaté or smaller ones at one of the independent art spaces or galleries around the three cities, a photography festival, fashion shows, concerts, theatre shows, dance or other types of performances or art debates. For 6 days all of cultural Benin showed its colors, with many events extending way beyond that period.
One of the highlights of the festival was the TokP’Art fair, hosted in tents at the Fidjrossè beachside festival terrain in Cotonou from 14-19 february, where, among other things, a separate section of booths showcased the latest contemporary art of Beninese plastic artists. It was an exciting and inspiring adventure for OpenArtExchange to participate in this event as the only international art gallery on the ground.
Though all first times are a learning experiment that require some improvisation, we were very happy and proud to present a great collection of works from 8 professional Beninese plastic artists, some quite well recognised internationally, at 5 combined booths at the FInAB TokP’Art fair. The atmosphere was great with daily live music till midnight and many stories from art lovers, artists, curators, journalists and bloggers visiting our booths, even the mayor of Cotonou and the representative of the president. Below some photo impressions.
Though the festival and TokP’Art fair at Fidjrossè beach are over by now, you can still visit our special FInAB collection in a viewing room on Artsy till 31 March 2023 and order these art works against special FInAB prices based on direct shipping from Benin. Have a look at the link below and buy directly via Artsy’s Buy or Make offer options:
Alternatively, you can also visit our viewing rooms at ArtNet.com or Kooness.com.
You will find a varied Beninese contemporary art collection with paintings, sculptures and mixed media works in different sizes from some well-recognised artists as well as some emerging young talents, notably Sanda Amadou, Benjamin Deguenon, Sébastien Boko, MidY, Marcel Kpoho, Syl Loko and Mr Fouzy.