England rugby star Maro Itoje has made a surprising career move as he ventures into the art world. Itoje, along with his business partner Khalil Akar, has recently opened a new gallery in London called Akoje Gallery. The gallery aims to provide a fresh alternative to the traditional art market model and hopes to excite people with its unique exhibitions.
To kick-start the exciting venture, Akoje Gallery will launch as a pop-up space featuring a group show of the first artists to join their roster. The pop-up exhibition will take place at Spring Studios in London’s Chalk Farm for a duration of two days.
One of the distinguishing factors of Akoje Gallery is its focus on art from Africa and the diaspora. By highlighting the talent and creativity from this region, the gallery aims to bring a fresh perspective and diversity to the art world.
Interestingly, Akoje Gallery’s programme is being delivered in partnership with Frieze, a renowned art fair. However, it is important to note that there is no financial backing from the media and fair brand. Maro Itoje, who sits on the Frieze 91 committee, has previously collaborated with brands such as Sotheby’s, a leading auction house.
Looking ahead, Akoje Gallery has plans to release an exhibition programme in early 2024. In doing so, the gallery may consider following the footsteps of art fairs like Frieze London for future shows. With a growing interest in African culture in the West, Akoje Gallery hopes to capitalize on this trend and expand its reach beyond the art world through various partnerships.
Maro Itoje’s foray into the art scene with Akoje Gallery brings together his passion for sports and the arts. As an accomplished athlete, his venture into the art world reflects the multidimensional nature of his interests and the growing intersection of sports and culture.
The opening of Akoje Gallery is an exciting development in the art world, providing a platform to showcase talented African artists and promote cultural diversity. As the gallery’s exhibition programme unfolds, art enthusiasts and the wider public eagerly anticipate the unique experiences that Akoje Gallery will bring to London’s art scene.