How The 2022 59th Venice Biennale Will Change The Dollars Spent On Black Art

CBx Vibe: “L.E.S. Artistes” Santigold

By Majella Mark

  • The average direct cost of putting on an exhibition for the Venice Biennale is $140K
  • Kerry James Marshall’s a 2015 Venice Biennale featured artist work sold for $25K in 1997, and then sold for $21.1M in 2018

The Venice Biennale is the art olympics and every two years countries pick their creative champion to represent them. Throughout the years there were barely any people of color, but 2022 will be different due to the call for racial equality in the streets bringing a shift in the art world. Black artists being featured hope to find success like 2015 Venice Biennale featured artist Kerry James Marshall. His “Past Time” was sold for $25,000 in 1997, and then sold for $21.1 million in 2018. An artist with a presence at Venice Biennale will typically get a lot of publicity, which will then increase the value of their work.

Why This Matters: For the first time, Black people are representing western nations in droves. Stan Douglas will be representing Canada, Sonia Boyce will represent the UK, Simone Leigh will represent the U.S., Alberta Whittle will represent Scotland and Zimbabwe will have its own pavilion with four artists, Ronald Muchatuta, Kresiah Mukwazhi, Terrence Musekiwa, Wallen Mapondera.

There is a cost to showcase at the Venice Biennale, and usually the tab is either on the government, museum or gallery the artist is representing. The average cost of putting on an exhibition for the Venice Biennale is $140,000. On occasion artists had to raise funds or get reimbursed for the production. If an artist is open to accepting funds, in exchange you can possibly receive works of art, starting or expanding on a collection that will increase in value instantly.  

What’s Next: Dak’Art Biennale is making a name for itself creating opportunities for Africans and the African Diaspora. Like the original Venice Biennale, the Dakar Biennale is a biannual event showcasing the melanated talent in the art world. Its had the full support of the Senegal government since 2000 and creates opportunities to collect artworks of the diaspora in one place. The next Dak’Art Biennale is in 2022.

CBx Vibe: “L.E.S. Artistes” Santigold

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