Behind the art magazine championing African artists
Soho House member and founder of DADA Gallery, Oyinkansola Dada, has launched a magazine targeting a new generation of Black creatives and art enthusiasts
Wednesday 19 October 2022 By Sagal Mohammed
Oyinkansola Dada is the Lagos-born, London-based founder of DADA Gallery and DADA Magazine. The gallery’s mission is to introduce the most exciting contemporary Black artists to international audiences. Since its inception, it has curated experiences across Francophone Africa, Anglophone Africa and Europe. Its roster consists of Black creators whose work sidestep the traditional and tackles divisive themes of immigration, sexuality, gender, and more.
DADA Gallery began as an African literature, culture and politics blog called POLARTICS. Through POLARTICS, Dada immersed herself at the heart of the African creative scene. Driven by a desire to help emerging artists reach their potential, a resolve to connect burgeoning art collectors with African art, and a passion for curating meaningful experiences, she evolved POLARTICS into DADA Gallery. In October 2022, she released DADA Magazine, an art magazine founded on the ethos of DADA Gallery that targets a new generation of Black artists and art enthusiasts. Last Friday, Dada hosted a launch party for the magazine at our Tea Building Studio in east London.
Here, we speak to the Soho House member – who has been profiled by the likes of The Face, Financial Times and Okay Africa – about her vision for DADA. She also explains how she’s merging her background as a solicitor with a degree in international politics from King’s College London with her love for expression through art and creative skills.
Why did you start this magazine?
‘I wanted to create an art magazine that made Black artists the core focus, with a lens on those living and working in Africa and its diaspora. There is a gap of representation when it comes to spaces focused on amplifying the voices of Black artists and I wanted to help rectify it. I also want the magazine to serve as a knowledge base for the next generation of artists and art enthusiasts who need help demystifying the art world. It’s known for being traditionally elitist and inaccessible for newer audiences, so DADA Magazine was created with this in mind.’