The Guardian calls attention to the growing number of wealthy in Africa’s two most mature economies—Nigeria and South Africa—who have begun to buy art
When Nike Davies-Okundaye began selling adire – a Nigerian traditional textile art she learned from her great-grandmother – in the 1960s, “only expats liked buying, even though our forefathers were already art lovers”, she said on a walk through her gallery, which sprawls over four floors, the largest in west Africa.
Nowadays she has a global clientele and, increasingly among locals, young business people wanting to invest their money in safe assets. “Young Nigerians are now driving the art scene – they are becoming the biggest patrons of Nigerian art,” she said.
Growing incomes colliding with a rich history of visual arts have seen fine art sales soar in other African countries too, said Davies-Okundaye, who helped establish one of Kenya’s first art galleries in the 1980s.
The boom has been most pronounced in Nigeria and South Africa,the continent’s two biggest economies, which between them account for half of Africa’s billionaires. Increasingly, local rather than imported artwork adorns the walls of many glitzy offices and restaurants.
The Guardian also spoke to El Anatsui whose own prominence is breaking on the global stage:
“Artworks from hitherto unacknowledged regions of the world, not only Africa, are being collected as artworks rather than curios or ethnological objects,” said the Nigeria-based artist, whose colossal outdoor installations draw huge crowds to galleries in Berlin, Paris and New York. Nevertheless he dismissed the “African artist” label. “Art is a universal sensibility,” he said.
Meanwhile, Business Daily Africa notices the growing demand for African art in China:
The beauty of the Chinese boom market on the visual arts is that it is definitely global, inclusive of Africa.
We have even seen a consistence of Chinese art collectors’ right here in Kenya. They hire locals to buy up contemporary Kenyan artworks and then ship them back to China either for resale, at astronomical prices, or for their ‘first home’ collection.
The market for Kenyan art is on the rise.
Elkana Ong’esa, the Kisii Stone, was a trail brazier in the Chinese market for Kenyan artists. He went to China more than ten years ago.
China finally gets an appetite for Kenyan art (BusinessDailyAfrica)