per l’Arte

The 29th edition of Artissima, directed for the first year by Luigi Fassi, ended a few days ago, and the energy released by this great platform for cultural exchange and growth is still flowing within us! It was a very stimulating experience, full of quality and research. For four days, Turin was filled with thoughts and reflections about art, 33.200 visitors, 650 collectors, 8.000 VIPs, 800 art professionals including museum directors and curators, 25 museum delegations from the world’s most important institutions are just some of the numbers that make Turin increasingly competitive for the global art market.

Tosetti Value Il Family office was part of this great event with its investigation between art and economics that took shape in the Talk between Paolo Bricco and Gian Maria Tosatti on the history of our industrial civilization starting from the monumental photograph of the Italian industry that the artist has given us at the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennial, of which Tosetti Value Il Family office is proud to be Donor.

Photo courtesy: © Perottino-Piva-Peirone / Artissima

At the same time, an International Jury composed by the artist Fatma Bucak, the Vice Director of the Gallerie d’Italia – Turin, Antonio Carloni and the Director of CAMERA Centro Italiano per la fotografia, Walter Guadagnini went around the 174 galleries at the Fair in search of the artist capable of interpreting the historical-social and economic situation of our globalized world and providing the most interesting interpretation of it.

After careful consideration of the photographic works on display, we are proud to announce that the Tosetti Value Photography Award has been assigned to Oroma Elewa, presented by the In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc gallery in Paris, an artist and performer, who lives between New York City, Marrakech and Lagos, whose photographic works ironically and acutely reflect on social, cultural, political and racial themes in African society, also seen in the light of the personal, direct experiences of the artist active in the Nigerian community. The themes of gender and identity dominate Elewa’s work, taking on a specific relevance to her national context, and a general meaning in relation to the global urgencies of the contemporary world.

The work of Oroma Elewa plays ironically with a series of stereotypes of representation of the female figure, with a particular accent on the world of fashion photography and glossy magazines. The topos of the seductive black woman is fully respected in the imagery placed on the left side of the work, but is challenged – and substantially parodied – in the right part, where a phrase reasserts the individuality of the choices of the protagonist of the shot. Through the practice of self-portraiture, Elewa plays a first-hand role, while at the same time – through disguises – referencing a by-now long tradition of photography, which from the years of the Pictures Generation and particularly the rise of the figure of Cindy Sherman and the practice of slogan-like writing of artists like Barbara Kruger, extending to the present. Elewa’s work confirms, on the other hand, the extraordinary vitality of photography from the African continent, capable of combining the immediacy of the image with reflections on the most pressing issues of the current world.”

The work Tom Relax, 2021 by Oroma Elewa enters the Tosetti Value corporate collection and is part of a deep reflection on Africa. Several artists, who have exhibited in the Family office spaces in the past years as part of the project “Prospettive. The Economy of Images” have focused their research on this multifaceted and constantly growing continent, from Zanele Muholi “Visual Activist”, who with their self-portraits explores the themes of blackness, identity and the history of South Africa, to Lorenzo Vitturi eclectic artist, born in Venice, who with his photographic practice, at the intersection of photography, sculpture and performance, recounts the entropic nature of the Balogun Market in Lagos, to Cristina De Middel photojournalist and artist, who joined the Magnum Agency in 2017, and with her project Afronauts recreates the Zambian dream of taking the first African astronaut to the moon.

Photo courtesy: © Perottino-Piva-Peirone / Artissima

The Tosetti Value Photography Award is in close connection with ‘Prospettive. The Economy of Images “, a project on contemporary photography born in 2014 and curated by Tosetti Value per l’Arte, with the aim of fuelling debates and reflections on our globalised world through exhibitions and talks in synergy with the Family office’s economic research. The first edition of the Tosetti Value Photography Award went to Raed Yassin, presented by the Isabelle van den Eynde gallery in Dubai; the second edition awarded Fatma Bucak, presented by the Peola Simondi gallery in Turin.

IMAGE: @ Oroma Elewa Tom Relax, 2021-  Area Babes and Ashawo Superstars

Courtesy of Oroma Elewa & Galerie In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc