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" I feel fortunate and proud to have contributed, for over a decade now, to the international visibility of African Contemporary Art, particularly since establishing Africa First in 2017 as a platform that champions emerging talents from all over Africa and the Diaspora. "

 

- Serge Tiroche, Founder

ABOUT AFRICA FIRST

Africa First was founded by Serge Tiroche in 2017 as a platform to support and promote Contemporary Art from the continent. An active collector of African Contemporary art for over a decade, he decided to focus his private collecting and residency program on emerging artists from Africa and its diaspora.

 

Africa First actively promotes the artists in its collection through its website, gallery collaborations, a lending program, digital media, an artist residency, newsletters, sponsorships, prizes and commissions, as well as various forms of collaboration and advisory work with a multitude of institutions in the art ecosystem. These activities are essential for the advancement of the artist’s profiles and ultimately long-term value creation.

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Elladj Lincy Deloumeaux, Sans Titre #6, 2022

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Sadikou Oukpedjo, Pelerinage, 2018

A RENAISSANCE 

The collection was founded at a time when the contemporary African art market was in its nascent stages and we were fortunate to benefit from the explosive growth and recognition that has taken place since. We are proud to have contributed a little to that change in visibility, understanding, and interest. The continent is now starting to form a proper art infrastructure thanks to private sector initiatives which include museums, galleries, auction houses, art fairs, media, non-profit spaces, and art foundations, many of whom we collaborate with. Global demand for African contemporary art has grown dramatically. Within the continent, this demand is being fueled by rising numbers of high-net-worth individuals and demand from African corporations. Internationally, more and more galleries, art fairs, collectors, museums, and biennales are embracing African artists. On the institutional side, the growing interest in Africa and Diaspora artists was validated during the 2022 Venice Biennale where all 4 top prizes were awarded to black artists.

OUR MISSION

Africa First has built a large collection comprising some 600 works by approximately 200 artists from all over the continent and the African diaspora. The platform serves as a resource for aspiring artists, collectors, curators and other market participants, and has a strong social agenda as it works hard to promote and disseminate African contemporary art. Our widespread lending program to galleries, museums and institutions around the world is coupled with promotional activities that include social media presence, our artist residency program, a semi-annual newsletter and various commercial ventures, working with online platforms, auction houses, art fairs and international galleries. These activities are essential for the advancement of the artists and ultimately long-term value creation.

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Cinthia Sifa Mulanga, Competitive Sisterhood - Wait Your Turn, 2021

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Option Dzikamai, Chirimandiri II, 2019

AFRICA FIRST X START

In March 2024, START by Serge Tiroche opened a new show-room in the Jaffa Flea Market where it showcases works from the Israeli collection as well as from the Africa First collection. The multi-purpose space boasts more than 400 artworks on exhibit in an open storage format with 25 large double sided sliding walls. Approximately half the works are by African and Diaspora artists.

 

The space is open daily and operates as the company offices and principal local storage facility and showroom. It also contains an art library and a small lounge area. We advise booking viewing and/or consulting appointments. Tailored gatherings are organized occasionally, by invitation.

AFRICA FIRST X GORDON

In 2022, Africa First and Gordon Gallery, respectively run by Serge Tiroche and Amon Yariv,  joined forces to bring to bear more than 50 years of combined experience, reputation, and market know-how in a new initiative to promote the voices of talented African artists in Israel. The two have worked closely together for the past decade developing a strong friendship and business relationship that is forged on trust and common values.


In the wake of the war that broke out in October 2023, the program was halted until further notice. We are proud to have held more than a dozen exhibitions, presenting almost two dozen African artists to audiences in Israel and abroad, via both group and solo exhibitions. We hope to resume the program when prevailing conditions permit.

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Africa First collection works at Gordon Gallery. Photo: Evyatar Hershtik, 2023

MEET THE TEAM

The Africa First team is composed of devoted, hard-working individuals with a true passion for the art world and the exciting role we play in the promotion and dissemination of contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora. Harnessing the individual skills of each member of our team we try to remain small, dynamic, and opportunistic. We react quickly to new ideas and have a proven track record of incorporating and executing innovation on an ongoing basis. 

Since launching in 2017, we expanded from a collection to a residency program, a client advisory platform, organizing and executing online auctions, sponsoring prizes and publications, and most recently launching the 'Africa First X' gallery collaboration model, including art fair participations.  We are always keen to strike up collaborations around the world, so if your idea aligns with our core mission, we'd be delighted to hear from you. 

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Serge Tiroche

FOUNDER

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Michaela Mor

ACCOUNTING MANAGER

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Shay Benamram

COLLECTIONS MANAGER

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