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Rencontre - An intercultural exhibition in Mainz

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

Once again, New Afro brought creatives, cultures and people together. From September 29th to October 2nd, we had our 2nd art exhibition in Mainz, with 2 artists whose styles couldn't be more different: On the one hand Francel Dagbeto, born and raised in Benin, who transports spirituality, local traditions and his deep connection to his direct environment through his artwork. On the other hand, Benjamin Abana, Danish artist of Nigerian descendance, who brought his graffiti-painting skills on canvas and developed throughout his carrier an unique and figurative style full of colors and emotions.

Let’s start from the first day of our 3 days event - with the vernissage. We had an exciting evening with our guests and with Isa Sonnabend as our host. That evening, Isa introduced Cheria (New Afro founder), Benjamin and Christianne Schauder through interesting, inspiring and deep questions. Francel Dagbeto was digitally with us, through a previously recorded interview played on screen.

Our vernissage guests showed their creativity by painting/drawing their thoughts about the theme of the exibition "encounter". In each of the 60 personalized invitation boxes that we personally handed out or sent per post, each guest had 3 acrylic colors, a brush and 1 canvas to paint their ideas or thoughts about this word "encounter". The result of this creative excercice was the entree ticket to the vernissage. We were pretty impressed by all the paintings we got that evening, which of course will be used to decorate our future office!

The vernissage was followed by 3 days of exhibition, during which people could come and contemplate Benjamin and Francel artworks, meet the curators NA, enjoy some Vaux Sekt, grab some home made finger food and have some good conversations and music. People were especially happy about being able to talk to the artist himself: Benjamin took time and pleasure to hear, explain and echange with guests. One of the highlights of the exhibition days was the live-painting: Within one day, Benjamin turned a white canvas into an impressive piece of art.

As team, we were at the end of these 3 full days of hard work, cultural exchanges and encounter thrilled and excited about what would come next. This 3rd event has been for us a revelation. More than ever, we want to share our love, interest, admiration for art through curating, connecting artists with African Background to the world, participating to make the cultural industry a place where each artist can express him/herself and make a descent living through it and share our vision of ART. In that sense, the exhibition has been a success!

Thanks to all our guests, to Benjamin Abana, Francel Dangbeto, Jakob, Chistianne Schauder, Minas, Isa Sonnabend, Tom and every hands, that made this event possible one way or another!

Much Love, New Afro Team <3.


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