Mixed-medium artist, Peju Alatise, has been awarded the 2017 FNB (First National Bank) Art Prize, Africa's leading fair for contemporary art.
Joining the likes of Nolan Oswald Dennis, Turiya Magadlela, Portia Zvavahera and Kudzanai Chiurai who won previous editions, Alatise will receive a cash prize as well as the opportunity to create a new project that will be showcased in a dedicated exhibition space at the FNB JoburgArtFair this September.
The mixed-medium artist, poet and writer whose work has gained recognition on global art stage was selected as the 2016 fellow at the Smithsonian Institute of African Art and exhibited at the Nigeria's platform, alongside Renowned artist Victor Ehikhamenor and Qudus Onikeku, at the Venice Biennale’s 57th edition.
Alatise captures the joys and pain of womanhood in modern-life-African traditions while she focuses on social, political and gender-related issues.
“There is a great need to continue investing in artists that tell us more about ourselves, and art in this sense, is a commodity that isn’t simply a good financial investment, but a social dialogue that enables us to reflect. Our decade of continued support of the FNB JoburgArtFair is recognition of the varied roles that art plays in our society, from being a form of expression which offers a much deeper and intrinsic look at the world around us, to an alternative investment option,” says Mari Van Niekerk, Senior Communication and Sponsorship Manager.
According to Pulane Kingston, partner at Webber Wentzel Attorneys and active patron of the arts and RosaLee Goldberg, New York University professor and Founding Director of Performa,
"The quality of each of the shortlisted candidates’ proposals this year was high, but we were ultimately unanimous in our decision around Alatise’s proposal – it stood out. The innovative, universal social relevance and poignancy in the themes underpinning her work were some of the deciding factors in tipping the scales in her favour. The overall body of her work over the years is varied and compositionally strong, palpably reflecting the intense vibrancy of the African continent. We have no doubt that the integrity of the overall body of her work will propel her career meaningfully.”
FNB Joburg Art Fair is Africa’s leading art fair focused on contemporary art from the continent and diaspora.