See, I always knew I was onto something when I started studying Nigerian arts, in fact, I was even ahead of the Economist … no, jokes aside (I’m far too enthusiastic to resist following my heart which led me to Naija, rather than the market …) here, the link to an interesting article in the Economist. You might want to consider it against the background of a variety of other recent publications in respected European and North American news media that promoted contemporary African arts to collectors and professional investors.
A nice new market
Another good way to spend your lovely oil money
‘… The collectors say their government cares little about preserving this artistic heritage. They share the cynicism of many Nigerians, who think the politicians are more eager to grab a share of the revenues of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil producer. Instead, the collectors prefer to put their own money into gathering and cataloguing thousands of works of art. “For me, this is a philanthropic act,” says Mr Olagbaju, who notes that Nigeria’s top public galleries struggle with power cuts that leave masterpieces gathering dust in the dark.
More recently, these collectors have realised that they have also been canny investors. Their hobby has started to attract foreign attention—and cash. At an auction of African art in New York in March, the five most expensive lots were Nigerian. A painting by the late Ben Enwonwu went for $91,000. …’
Sure, it’s an acknowledgement of the creativity and professional practice of Nigerian artists and might stimulate much needed local patronage but … Sorry, I fear I haven’t sufficiently analysed this wary feeling in my tummy to write about it in a public space like this. But what do you think?