São Paulo, Brazil is quickly becoming a hub for artists. In the past decade, the eclectic city has experienced a renaissance, and more Black Brazilians are being amplified in the creative space.
Igi Lola Ayedun returned to her home country of Brazil after working in Paris’ fashion industry for almost ten years. She was immediately was taken aback by the artistic shift. Ayedun’s 2017 move back to São Paulo inspired her to shift from a career in fashion to focus on her work as a multimedia artist.
After renting a large shared studio, Ayedun would let her friends use the space for art residencies and exhibitions. However, it wasn’t until 2020 that she took another route in her art career.
“The pandemic was a huge crisis for us all. There were no jobs, no exhibition opportunities, and many of my friends started working for delivery apps like Uber Eats,” Ayedun tells Cultured.
Through the hardships of the pandemic, HOA was created.
The first Black-owned art gallery in Brazil
When Ayedun opened HOA, she had $2,000 in her bank account. She started showing works by her artist friends on an online platform. Pieces on the site were being sold, and after a while, renowned galleries were looking to HOA to source artists.
HOA’s loyalty to artists
Most galleries split sales 50/50 with their artists. HOA, however, does a 60/40 or 70/30 split.
Ayedun serves as a mentor to artists and helps them with the resources they need for success. It’s her mission to represent Brazil’s art scene on a global scale.
“When I moved back to São Paulo, I realized how many years of creative energy I’d given European industries. Now, I’m not just interested in having Brazil be a part of the center, but to have Brazil be the center, with people traveling here from abroad,” Ayedun tells Cultured.
NOVA HOA Contemporary Art Festival
Over 50 artists will travel to Brazil from around the world for NOVA HOA Contemporary Art Festival this November. This will be HOA’s first festival.