10 must-see highlights from PAD Paris Design + Art 2023

Peter Martin, Effect Magazine, March 31, 2023

Much kudos goes to the brilliantly-named Foreign Agent for bringing a booth that stood out from any other at PAD this year. The Swiss gallery works predominantly with artists and designers from Africa and the diaspora; and founder Olivier Chow tells Effect:


 “With PAD being the premier fair for collectible design, it was important for us to be there. For the first time, there is a booth in PAD Paris dedicated to African talent, and it is time this talent gets the recognition it deserves.”


Particularly eye-catching was Beauty In The Eye of The Beholder – a collection from British-Nigerian designer Yinka Ilori. Seemingly crafted from individual oil cans, the works are actually cast from a single piece of fibreglass. Also impressive was Hamed Ouattara’s Bolibana collection, handmade from recycled oil barrels “according to Burkinabé blacksmith tradition,” says Chow, “yet totally novel and futuristic in their design – incredibly powerful and sculptural as well as functional.”

In a booth packed with exceptional pieces, other stand-outs are Jomo Tariku’s Nyala chair (which featured in the Black Panther movie), Didier Viodé’s paintings – deceptively minimal yet rich in storytelling, texture and colour; and the Déséquilibre harmonieux wall sculpture by Congolese-Romanian artist Maliza Kiasuwa. Is Paris ready for Foreign Agent? We hope so. It’s definitely a gallery to watch.