PRESS: Artnet's Africa Present Initiative
"As a close observer of the African Contemporary art market and an experienced auction person; with a mind attune to innovation and a long standing interest in social responsibility (promoting under-represented art and ecological awareness) - this idea just jumped at me as soon as the pandemic hit, a time when it finally felt like the industry was ripe to move online. It’s been quietly gaining momentum since then, internally within artnet and externally among my industry colleagues."
- Serge Tiroche
ABOUT AFRICA PRESENT
Africa Present is Artnet’s dynamic new initiative to use the reach, contacts, and capabilities of a global art marketplace to raise awareness about contemporary artists from the African continent at every stage of their careers. Ever since Angola won the Golden Lion for its first pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013, the profile of contemporary African art has been on the rise in both scholarly and art market circles. The 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair held its first edition in London that same year, and Zeitz MOCAA, hailed as the first major museum dedicated to contemporary art on the African continent, opened in Cape Town in 2017. Although many more African contemporary art museums are in the making, and 1-54 has expanded to New York and Marrakech, the market for African contemporary art is still relatively nascent.
With over 200,000 email subscribers, 3.2 million social media followers, and 12.5 million monthly pageviews sitewide, Artnet is perfectly positioned to become the international home for all things African contemporary art.
ABOUT ARTNET AUCTIONS
At the same time, Artnet Auctions will offer sales of African contemporary art. Artnet Auctions’ standard operational process offers advantages to consignors based around the globe, including no seller fees for works that hammer over $15,000, no requirement for shipping before the auction, and a policy that works are only turned over to the buyer once they have been paid for in full. Additionally, the buyer’s premium is only 20%, far below the industry standard of 25 to 30%, and the buyer pays all shipping, packaging, and insurance costs for the transport of the work. With specialists who are welladjusted to the digital auction world due to the company’s long history of online-only auctions, Artnet Auctions remains perfectly positioned to meet the current moment while brick-and-mortar houses scramble to catch up. Offering greater transparency to collectors and unique opportunities for emerging artists to expand their audiences, the auctions will be designed so that they are relevant to artists and collectors at all levels. The sales will be curated by specialists, and the artworks offered will be separated into three distinct categories: Artnet Auctions This section will offer works by established artists with recognized international presence.
This section will will present works by artists new to the international auction market, including works sourced directly from artists or their galleries.
This section will offer works by emerging artists who have existing auction records but are still considered emerging.
The first Africa Present sale will be held in April 2021 and Artnet Auctions has made a commitment to continue to develop the genre of African contemporary art on the platform.
CURATOR: Serge Tiroche
Serge Tiroche grew up with art: as collectors, gallery owners, Impressionist and Modern Art dealers and auction house founders, the Tiroche family was entrenched in the art world. Serge vied for a broader education and went to business school in Paris in 1992 and then obtained an MBA from INSEAD in 1997. In parallel, he began collecting contemporary art. After graduating, he joined Citigroup’s Private Bank where for 10 years he advised high net worth families on investments and other wealth management issues. In 2007, before the financial crisis, he left banking in order to combine his passions for art and investments, with a mission to enable the broader HNW community to participate in the art world, proposing passion investments. His first project was to found ST-ART, Israel’s first art incubator project. He went on to invest in the Artist Pension Trust and serve as its global chairman until 2010. In 2011 he co-founded Art Vantage, an art fund focused on collecting contemporary art from developing markets, via the Tiroche DeLeon Collection. His most recent collection is Africa First which he founded in 2017, focusing his private collecting on contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora, which also offers a residency program in Israel, where he is from. Over the years Serge was involved with multiple public art organisations: The Batsheva Dance Company, The Tel-Aviv Museum, The Serpentine Gallery, the Israel Museum and the Shenkar College of Art & Design to name a few. Serge also invests and advises startups seeking a more efficient art market ecosystem.