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Christie’s hosts selling exhibition dedicated to Black artists

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The auction house is partnering with New York-based curator and art advisor Destinee Ross-Sutton for the virtual selling exhibition “SAY IT LOUD (I’m Black and I’m Proud),” which is on view through August 18.

The presentation, named after James Brown’s 1968 anthem, spotlights over 20 emerging Black artists from Africa and its diaspora who collectively explore the notion of identity and perception.

Each artist calls attention to the historical perception of “Blackness” and challenges the viewer to redefine their pre-conceived and systematically taught notions of Black perception and identity.

Among them are New York-based visual artist Josh Paige, South African artist Nelson Makamo, Los Angeles-based painter Yoyo Lander and Nigerian artist Collins Obijiaku, as well as French-American painter Jerome Lagarrique.

“Our image can be controversial. In a world where we have been told to lighten our skin and straighten our hair, I wanted to create an exhibition that showed our faces. To say, ‘We are here, we are seen and not forgotten,’” Ross-Sutton said in a statement.

Highlights of “SAY IT LOUD (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” include Eniwaye Oluwaseyi’s “The Breakfast” and Yoyo Lander’s “The Deeper Longing Is Greater Than Discomfort,” which are respectively expected to fetch $13,000 and $15,000.

Also among the high value offerings is Makamo’s “Untitled, from Blue Series,” which is estimated to sell for $43,000.

All works featured in “SAY IT LOUD (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” will be available for sale directly by the artists and their representatives, with the artists receiving 100% of the proceeds. Prospective buyers can reach the artists by first emailing sayitloud@christies.com.

“It’s really important for institutions that essentially are the tastemakers, [that] help decide the value of certain artworks, to make sure they [take] a stance, and to make sure that people have equal chances in reaching their full potential in their careers,” Ross-Sutton added.

Aside from “SAY IT LOUD (I’m Black and I’m Proud),” Christie’s will hold a two-part “Artist Talk & Consortium” on Wednesday, August 5.

These conversations, curated by The Harlem Arts Alliance, are described by the house as “a platform for art world leaders to highlight and discuss the systemic and institutional inequalities experienced by Black Artists and art industry workers alike.”

Main image: Nelson Makamo’s ‘Untitled, from Blue Series’ (2020) is on offer as part of Christie’s ‘SAY IT LOUD (I’m Black and I’m Proud). Image: Christie’s

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