Chief Curator, Norval Foundation
Owen Martin (born Canada, 1985) is currently Chief Curator at the Norval Foundation and serves as Trustee of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation. From 2015 to 2017 he was Registrar and Curator of Moving Image at Zeitz MOCAA (Cape Town, South Africa). Prior to that, he worked with the British Council (London, UK), Zeitz Collection (Segera, Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa), PUMA.Creative (Herzogenaurach, Germany), and the H&R Block Artspace (Kansas City, USA). Martin holds a Master of Arts in Art History from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in both Art History and Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute (Kansas City, USA).
Wura-Natasha Ogunji is a visual artist and performer. Her works include drawings, videos and public performances. Her work is deeply inspired by the daily interactions and frequencies that occur in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, from the epic to the intimate. Ogunji's performances explore the presence of women in public space; these often include investigations of labor, leisure, freedom and frivolity. She is a featured Artist-Curator for the upcoming 33 rd São Paulo Bienal and most recently performed at Cape Town Art Fair. Selected exhibitions include: Lagos Biennial; Kochi-Muziris Biennale; 1:54, London & New York; Seattle Art Museum; Brooklyn Art Museum; and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Ogunji is a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and has received grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Dallas Museum of Art; and the Idea Fund. She has a BA from Stanford University [1992, Anthropology] and an MFA from San Jose State University [1998, Photography].
Simon de Pury
Former Chief Auctioneer, Collector & DJ
Simon de Pury is one of the leading figures in the art market. He is renowned for his deep and longstanding knowledge of the global marketplace and for his legendary performance on the auction podium. At the beginning of 2013 Simon founded 'de Pury de Pury' together with his wife Michaela - a company specializing in building collections, consulting established collectors and institutions together, conceiving and curating exhibitions and in the branding of artistic, cultural and real estate projects. In 2015, together with Arnaud Massenet, co-founder of Net-A-Porter, they founded de-Pury.com, an online platform for contemporary culture and auctions of contemporary art. In 2016 Simon de Pury published 'The Auctioneer' with his memoirs. From 2000 to 2012 he was Chairman and Chief Auctioneer of Phillips de Pury & Company. Earlier in his career he was Chairman Europe and Chief Auctioneer Worldwide at Sotheby's. He was also curator of the Thyssen–Bornemisza Collection, the world’s largest private collection at the time. . In 2010, he was the subject of an hour-long documentary on the BBC, titled ‘The Man with the Golden Gavel'. In 2010 and 2011 he was the mentor in Bravo's reality TV show 'Work of Art: The Next Great Artist'. In 2018 he was a key figure in the award winning documentary 'The Price of Everything'. He is an active charity auctioneer, and over the years has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for a number of charities and cultural institutions.
Founder, Africa First
Serge Tiroche comes from a family with a long tradition in the art market - as collectors, gallery owners, dealers and auction house founders. He has been collecting contemporary art for over 30 years. He obtained an MBA from INSEAD in 1997 and spent 10 years as a Managing Director of Citi Private Bank. In 2007 he left Citi and set out to combine his passions for art collecting and investments. His mission has since been to enable a broader community to participate in the art world. He founded ST-ART, Israel's first art incubator project and then went on to invest in Artist Pension Trust and serve as its global chairman until 2010. In 2011 he co-founded Art Vantage PCC Limited, an Art Fund focused on collecting contemporary art from developing markets via the Tiroche DeLeon Collection. His most recent venture is Africa First, a private collection he founded in 2017 focused on contemporary art from across Africa and the diaspora, which includes a unique residency program in Israel, where he is from.
Independent Curator & Consultant
Marie-Ann Yemsi is an independent art consultant and curator, born in Germany to German and Cameroonian parents. In 2005, she founded her own agency, Agent Créatif(s), which has developed a renowned expertise in cultural production and art consulting with a focus on emerging artists and artistic scenes in Africa and its Diasporas. She has been the curator at several international exhibitions, including « African Odysseys » at the Brass Cultural Center (Brussels) in 2015, "The Days that Comes" at the Galerie des Galeries (Paris) in 2017 and A Silent Lines, Lives Here at Palais de Tokyo (Paris) in 2018. She was the Artistic Director of Afrotopia, the 11th edition of the Rencontres de Bamako, African Biennale of Photography in Mali (Dec 2017 – Jan 2018).