African Art Market Booming20/03/2019
Going once. Going Twice…..SOLD! for Sh5.6 million ($56,000). The piece was a 1971 painting by Tanzanian artist Edward Tingatinga. His works have become increasingly rare to find since he was killed. This was just part of the serious bidding wars that took place last Monday in Nairobi during the East African Art Auction. Money was not an issue for those whose hearts were set on owning timeless art pieces.
200 buyers were spoilt for choice with over 59 lots of diverse art from the East African region. The auction has over the years attracted bids from more and more new collectors who have money to spend on luxury items that will accrue value over time. Perhaps this is an pointer that appreciation for contemporary art continues to grow steadily and helping artists to develop, grow and be challenged to create exquisite, worthwhile pieces. Not to mention the brand building it provides for the artists.
Other high value items that sold included ‘Artist’s Home’, a canvas piece by Ugandan Geoffrey Mukasa (deceased) ($20,000), Samson Ssenkaaba’s ‘Matoke Farmer’ ($14,000),the late Samwel Wanjau’s ‘Women Reading’ sculpture ($8,300).
In a recent op-ed, Moina Spooner, the commissioning editor of The Conversation Africa sums up the importance of auctions in less developed art markets saying “They make modern and contemporary African Artwork more accessible, visible and demonstrate the monetary value of an artist’s work for those wanting to make an investment.”Read more Read less