Archive: Art in Africa
These men have a very unusual relationship with their animals

These men have a very unusual relationship with their animals

Pieter Hugo - Mallam Galadima Ahmadu with Jamis, Nigeria 2005
Mallam Galadima Ahmadu with Jamis, Nigeria 2005

Pieter Hugo is one of South Africa’s most recognizable photographers most notably known today for his Hyena and Other Men series. Pieter has made a habit of photographing African landscapes and its marginalized people, so it does not come as a shock that his body of work consists of peculiar subjects such as albinos, the blind and even AIDS victims lying dead in their coffins. Pieter has never been afraid to push boundaries and it shows in his photographs. The end goal of many of his celebrated works has been to address the complex realities of race and identity issues in marginalized African societies through his photographs.

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40 powerful photos of masked horsemen in Southern Africa

40 powerful photos of masked horsemen in Southern Africa

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 5. Lebohang Monyamane - Letseng, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong5. Lebohang Monyamane – Letseng, Lesotho, 2016

In the Drakensberg Mountains, the Semonkong region of Lesotho is comprised of various small villages. Semonkong is nestled high up in the mountains; so the area is almost entirely inaccessible by car. Some villages are close to four or five hours apart, so the local population has to find creative ways to move from one community to another. Mostly, the villagers utilize horses as their primary means of transport; the horses also come in handy for trading and herding.

In May 2016, photographer Thom Pierce spent 8 days in the Semonkong highlands capturing the rawness of the majestic horsemen and women against the most astounding Lesotho background. Through his photographic medium, Pierce manages to blur the line between fine art, portrait, and documentary photography. His photographs engage the viewer almost immediately, and one cannot help but feel a connection with the men, women, and children that took part in the series.

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The crude nature of war in dreamlike photos

The crude nature of war in dreamlike photos

Richard Mosse - Vintage violence, 2011, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Richard MosseVintage violence, 2011
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Richard Mosse’s commanding video installation The Enclave (2013) transcends art by also encompassing anthropology and journalism. It was produced by means of a recently superseded military film technology designed in World War II to reveal camouflaged mechanisms concealed within the landscape. This film is rendered in vivid tones of lavender, crimson, and pink. Mosse utilized this film to document the ongoing conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in which 5.4 million people have died since 1998 and is fundamentally ignored by the mass media.

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Entire museum buildings covered by jute sack

Entire museum buildings covered by jute sack

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled (K.N.U.S.T.)
Ibrahim MahamaUntitled (K.N.U.S.T.), 2013 (Detail), Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama is an artist born and working with Ghana. His installation works using Jute sacks (reappropriated material he has purchased from markets, which were first cocoa sacks and then coal sacks) are the result of his investigation of the conditions of supply and demand in African markets. Torn, patched, stamped with PRODUCT OF GHANA, and written over with owners’ names, the bags are variously marred, marked, and transformed. These installations are displayed in Ghanaian markets as well as galleries, thus defying the artifacts’ intrinsic value system. Ibrahim uses the coal sacks as a device to explore process, material, value, and meaning. He creates an artistic vision out of a commonplace material, repurposing them and exhibiting them in the very marketplaces from which they came.

Ibrahim Mahama - Installation at Accra’s National Theatre, Central Ghana
Ibrahim Mahama – Installation at Accra’s National Theatre, Ghana

Ibrahim Mahama - Installation at Accra’s National Theatre
Ibrahim Mahama – Installation at Accra’s National Theatre, Ghana

Ibrahim Mahama - Civil Aviation, Airport. Accra, Ghana, 2014
Ibrahim MahamaCivil Aviation, Airport. Accra, Ghana, 2014

Ibrahim Mahama - Civil Occupation, 2014, Jute coal sacks, Installation view
Ibrahim MahamaCivil Occupation (installation view), 2014, Jute coal sacks

Ibrahim Mahama - Juli Baw, 2015, Coal sacks, dye sack with makins and creen print, 548 x 767 cm
Ibrahim MahamaJuli Baw, 2015, Coal sacks, dye sack with makins and creen print, 548 x 767 cm

Ibrahim Mahama - K.N.U.S.T Library. Occupation and labour. Kumasi, Ghana, 2014
Ibrahim MahamaK.N.U.S.T Library. Occupation and labour. Kumasi, Ghana, 2014

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Markings and body on coal sacks
Ibrahim Mahama – Markings and body on coal sacks

Ibrahim Mahama - Nyhavn Kaplang. Installation View, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Ibrahim MahamaNyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Ibrahim Mahama - Nyhavn Kaplang. Installation View, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Ibrahim MahamaNyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Ibrahim Mahama - Nyhavn Kaplang. Installation View, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Ibrahim MahamaNyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Ibrahim Mahama - Out of Bounds (detail), 2015, Venice Biennale
Ibrahim MahamaOut of Bounds (detail), 2015, Venice Biennale, Italy

Ibrahim Mahama - Out of Bounds (Installation view), 2015, 56th Venice Biennale
Ibrahim MahamaOut of Bounds (installation view), 2015, Venice Biennale, Italy

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