By Nii B. Andrews.
The 1-54 CAA fair has announced that it will, in collaboration with Christie’s, offer an auction of NFTs by the Nigerian visual artist, Prince Jacon Osinachi Igwe, aka Osinachi.
The works will be exhibited at Somerset House during the fall edition of the fair in London from 14 to 17 October.
This NFT online auction will not only be the first for 1-54, but also the first NFT by an African artist to be offered by Christie’s in Europe.
This particular NFT series by Osinachi is entitled DIFFERENT SHADES OF WATER; with Daria Barisovac as the curator.
Five of Osinachi’s works are estimated between £40,000 and £60,000 each in an online-only sale (October 5-19).
The works — which can also be bought with ether or bitcoin — primarily address work-life imbalances but also have a “black” protagonist, something that is “very significant to his highly personal work”, says Isabel Millar, a Christie’s specialist.
Earlier this year, Osinachi sold three NFTs for the equivalent of $75,000 in just 10 days.
Osinachi is widely acclaimed as Africa’s foremost cryptoartist and has been featured on CNN, The Washington Post, Forbes Africa, Artnet, AFP and many others.
He was a finalist for the Bridgeman Studio Award 2019.
The current exhibition series: In Different Shades of Water is inspired by David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972).
Osinachi explained, “…the first thing that made me love the series he made: the way he painted water in such a way that you feel you are right there inside the paintings and can almost touch the water”.
Osinachi imagines what the pool would have looked like with different shades of water.
He varies the position of the subject’s body and provides alternate optics of the water depending on the time of day.
His technical expertise is superlative as he exclusively uses Microsoft Office to produce his works, thus pushing its limited design capabilities.
“I discovered the artistic potential of Microsoft Word way before finishing university. I was playing around with the drawing tools on the software as far back as when I was 15 years old in junior secondary school.
Over the years I have mastered it to the point that the process feels to me like breathing”, Osinachi stated.
A portion of the proceeds from Christie’s will be donated to the African Culture Fund, a pan-African organisation supporting the arts education sectors and cultural and creative industries on the African continent.