“Market for contemporary African art has exploded in the last five years, says expert…”
African art has long been about more than just tribal masks and traditional carvings, and now contemporary African artists are being recognized globally.
The Johannesburg Art Fair recently showcased the works of 400 African contemporary artists, attracting more than 10,000 visitors. Organizer Ross Douglas told CNN there had been an explosion of interest in African art in recent years.
“Africa has always had a strong tribal art and a strong craft component, and that will always stay, he said.
“But that doesn’t mean there can’t be a contemporary market existing alongside that, and if you look in South Africa at the contemporary market in the last four or five years, it’s absolutely exploded.
“If you look at the number of young black artists doing well, making a living, it’s extraordinary. Five years ago it just didn’t exist.”
But the attention being bestowed on contemporary African art is a relatively new phenomenon. Auction house Bonhams says its New York sale last month was the first commercial auction dedicated solely to contemporary African art in the United States, and it says the UK’s first auction only took place last year.
While auction house Phillips de Pury’s Africa art sale and exhibition will take place on May 15 in New York. The sale will include works of contemporary art, photographs, design and editions which reflect the spirit of the continent…
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