United KingdomAbstract Folk Art
Monkeybiz have created a market that operates on the principle of “if you like it, you’ve got to buy it, You’re not going to get a second chance, because it’s an authentic, once-off work of art. Even our price tags tell a story. On the reverse of every tag the artists sign their names”.
Monkeybiz is dedicated to reviving the tradition of African Beadwork, taking the love and knowledge passed down, over the centuries, from mother to child and becoming a bridge from traditional bead works into contemporary ARTWORKS. Now the time for revival has arrived. Monkeybiz is leading the revival of this venerable tradition by bringing to it a fresh, modern aesthetic. Originating in 1999, two South African ceramicists and African art collectors provided Makatiso Ngaka, a skilled bead artist with the brief “can you do a doll that looks unique?” and Monkeybiz was born. Word of mouth spread of this wonderful supportive and empowering project and the register grew to over 450 beaders. Against all odds, it has maintained a sustainable business and is a benchmark for non-profit organisations – Monkeybiz is defined by the fact that it has retained its creative heart. International acclaim has followed. Known as folk art Monkeybiz pieces were snatched up by Sotherbys Contemporary Decorative arts for a sell-out exhibition in 2002. The vibrant dolls, animals and beaded pictures have enthralled shoppers and collectors in Conran Design. Stores in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo:- Donna Karan, has sold Monkeybiz craft art in her New York store DKNY. You’ll also find these iconic pieces at ABC carpet and Home, a department store that sets trends not only as a New York institution but worldwide. The Haas Brothers and Monkeybiz collaborated on an art project from 2014 leading to an exhibition during February 2016 at none other than the esteemed Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and currently at Marianne Boesky Gallery. They have also had their creations displayed in the MOT Art Museum in Tokyo. Each piece is uniquely designed and made by beaders in their own patterns and colours, and although there is a standard range of animal types when each artist makes her own animal every piece becomes unique. Some of the artists are more experimental and adventurous and therefore new animals and methods join the Monkeybiz range. Most recently the artwork of Monkeybiz has featured in The World of Interiors Magazine (March 2021). Edit BiographyShow more Show Less