NAIROBI ART AUCTION SMASHES RECORDS.

By Nii B. Andrews

Contemporary African Art (CAA) continues to dramatically increase in value while setting new price records.

Just last month, the Ben Enwonwu masterpiece, “TUTU” fetched an auction price of USD 1.68 million in London – more than 4x the estimated value.

Last week, over USD 200 000 worth of CAA was sold at an auction held at the Circle Art Gallery in Nairobi, Kenya.

The 56 artworks (paintings, photographs, sculpture) auctioned were by artists from 10 countries across Africa.

V12 LARAKAI CAMSHAFT COGWHEEL COVER: Eric Van Howe, 22 × 23 × 25 cm, mixed media (6 materials), 2017.

A 1993 oil painting, “In the Sugar Plantation”, by Geoffrey Musaka, the late Ugandan artist, fetched the highest price of USD 20 000.

“Market Chaos” by Ablade Glover – the Ghanaian master, sold for USD 11 000.

The bidding was lively and at times intense as it included telephone bidders from as far away as the US, one of whom won the bidding for “Cameleopard in the Clearing”, a painting by Yony Waite; it sold for over USD 14 000.

LA THÉ DE LA CARAVANE: Mustapha Boujemaoui, tea seed on panel, 160 x 130 cm, 2017.

Ms. Jaroljmek, the founder and director of the Circle Art Gallery  stated, ‘‘We are proud that the auction has continued to grow and build a space for collectors of African art and members of the East African business community to not only acquire art, but also to be able to learn about the important artists in the region”.

These encouraging developments show that quality CAA has aesthetic and formidable investment value; it is a capital asset.

“In the Sugar Plantation”, by Geoffrey Musaka.

Our young artists should therefore always strive to produce excellent work.

It is also expected that the cohort of collectors will increase leading to a significant expansion in the CAA market.

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