Apr 10, 2022
Lightheflame presents the much anticipated opening of ‘Victorious Tears’ at Temple Emanu-El on Miami Beach, a provocative and pivotal art exhibition exploring changing values on two continents through established and emerging artists in South Africa and America. Artists like Asanda Kupa, Cassius Khumalo and Lawrence Chikwa, fast-rising in the Contemporary African Art scene, show us the vibrance of Africa and magic of ritual. Art aficionados and collectors are cordially invited to experience the Opening Reception of ‘Victorious Tears’ on Wednesday, April 20th at 6pm. Temple Emanu-El is located at 1701 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach 33139 – Exhibition entrance is on 17th Street.
In the USA, celebrated local Miami artist Mark Sabin challenges us with a strange juxtaposition of subject matter. His work is featured in the exhibition, presenting a Black Madonna, images of forbidden love, and the mystery of the occult. The art gallery at Temple Emanu-El presents the ‘Victorious Tears’ exhibit at a time of transition, breaking of boundaries, recognition of scars and a need to embrace identity and value systems of all peoples.
Designed as vignettes, the exhibition allows for a unique experience of a reality different to the one we know or could ever see on our own. Carefully curated from 4 years of living and being in South Africa, by Jessica Deutsch, Co-Founder & Director of Lightheflame. Deutsch began her career at Sotheby’s in New York as Director of Public Programs; she currently curates and works with contemporary African and European artists to connect them to American audiences and collectors. The art gallery at the Synagogue is made possible by the generosity and support of Dr. Jeffrey T. Apter, Congregant of Temple Emanu-El and Founder/President of Global Medical Institutes.
It was the ingenious idea of Lightheflame Co-Founder Dr. Jeffrey Apter to approach Temple Emanu-El as an exhibition space. From an arts & cultural perspective, the synagogue is located in the heart of South Beach across the road from the Convention Center where Art Basel takes place. Dr. Apter endowed the restoration of a section of the synagogue and brought in a designer to create an art gallery.
“We have this as an ongoing pop-up space for Art Basel week in Miami. We held our first exhibition during Miami Art Week 2021, ‘Discover the Invisible in African Art’, which explored the work of Andile Komanisi, Asanda Kupa, Cassius Khumalo, David Rubenstein, Happy Dhlame, John Vusi Mfupi, Laurel Holmes, Lawrence Chikwa, LayzieHound Coka, Peter Mammes, Roger Ballen, and Senzo Shabangu. Our artists enjoyed the opportunity of exposure to an international audience on Miami Beach during Art Basel,” said Dr. Apter.
“All our artists are already on secondary market in South Africa, and the African market is still priced at an affordable jump-off point for collectors. The art is a portal to a magical spiritual universe intrinsic to Africa and different from the West. Art is never about ‘self’ but the people and concern for the general well-being,” explained Jessica Deutsch, Co-Founder & Director of Lightheflame. With growing interest in Contemporary African art, many South African artists have now achieved international recognition. LightheFlame’s website and art gallery in Miami are dedicated to empowering artists in South Africa.
Lightheflame started as a grass roots movement in South Africa in 2013 when Jessica met the late Peter Clarke, a South African artist. Peter Clarke did not want to see emerging and established black artists suffer as he had suffered under Apartheid in 20th-Century South Africa. He mapped out a journey, which took Jessica from one artist studio to another across the country. The first exhibition, ‘The Voice of the Nation’, held at Stephan Weltz and Co., presented the work of emerging artists. They addressed visually the concerns of that moment as President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family held the state captive. The artists spoke about lack of land, the failure of a new Post-Colonial Democracy, and a dream for a better future.
LightheFlame’s next exhibition was at the Gateway Hotel, Elandsfontein in South Africa – where the interior of a 1950’s hotel was transformed into a series of galleries so that the art was exhibited as experiences. Contemporary African Art in all its forms expressed what Art in Africa is all about; African Art from its earliest beginnings looks to a spiritual connection between the Creator and the spiritual world. The opening featured Sangoma women summoning the spirits, where music, dance, and poetry created a ritual like ceremony.
With growing interest in Contemporary African art, many South African artists have now achieved international recognition. LightheFlame’s website and gallery in Miami, Florida are dedicated to empowering artists in South Africa. Uplifting the artists means financial independence for them. In a country with 60% unemployment the focus of many galleries and institutions is to allow art making to be a means of economic survival. View the Lightheflame website, peruse the artists and artwork – all works are for sale online and at the gallery in Miami: https://lightheflame.com/