A number of commenters have expressed dismay at the success of the art market as world financial markets gyrate. In the West, at least, some of that success can be ascribed to the wealthy seeking alternative stores of value. However, in East Africa one doesn’t find that excuse. Yet The East African says that Kenyans are buying art even in the midst of desperate times:
You can’t get a bag of sugar for love or money. Food you can buy seems to have leapt in price each time you look on the shelves. The Kenya shilling continues to fall and imported goods are now impossibly expensive.
But whatever assails us, the art market is not only alive and well but, against all odds, apparently flourishing.
The brothers Kanji have a fortune set aside to commission works of art for their EnglishPoint Marina development at Mombasa; picture sales surpassed Ksh1 million ($9,970) at the recent opening of the new gallery at One-Off in Rosslyn, and one of Kenya’s best known artists was delighted to have sold paintings totalling around $7,000 at his recent show at the Alliance Francaise.
East Africa’s Art Market Is Thriving Against All Odds (The East African)