At Art Paris Art Fair, the prize L’art Est Vivant awards one young artist presented by an emerging gallery in the ‘Promises’ section of the fair — dedicated to promoting twelve young galleries that are under six years of existence. This year, the prize winner is Dalila Dalléas Bouzar, presented by Galerie Cécile Fakhoury.
Algerian-born artist Dalila Dalléas Bouzar currently lives and works in Bordeaux, France. Through expression of painting, Bouzar aims to free herself from « the contemporary history of the world which dictates that an African woman artist coming from European ex-colonies must do new media art and talk about topical issues ». Upon receiving the prize, Bouzar expressed her happiness in exhibiting at Art Paris Art Fair; « it’s my first important exhibition in Paris which for me is important because this is where I grew up and discovered art .» Speaking upon the medium of painting and drawing, Bouzar firmly expresses, « for me, it’s very important to be here, when we do paintings and drawings in the art world, I have to battle to assure my work and my materials ». By her side was Cécile Fakhoury, owner of the 5-year-old Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Concentrating on promoting creative and diverse African art, the gallery has already made its mark on several local and international art fairs, representing emerging artists as Vincent Michéa, Yéanzi, and François-Xavier Gbré.
This prize is made possible by the group L’Art est Vivant, a group made up of passionate art collectors who support emerging artists from the contemporary art field. According to Denis Fizelier, one of the founder of the group, the prize is meant to « embody a spirit of adventure ». Members of the jury admire young artists who express their views of our contemporary society through their art on unexpected and emotional platforms. In Bouzar’s work, they « liked the diversity » proposed by the artist « and the ensemble of her works presented in the gallery’s booth » which automatically marked and grabbed their attention.
This year’s selections are said to have been « really interesting and unique because they are 100% international galleries », as expressed by the prize’s awardee. Last year, 2016 prize winner was Tunisian artist Atef Maatallah, who was present during this year’s award ceremony.