“It was just a passion. With my curator Andre Magnin, 99.9% of what we bought was from the artists directly—there was nothing organized.” he says, “I’m completely dyslexic so I never read any theory about art, especially what I collect. With contemporary African art, there are no books whatsoever. There might be three people in the world who know a bit more than me, so it’s completely instinctive.” - Jean Pigozzi
By Eoghan Macguire, for CNN
...this is the Circle Art auction in Nairobi, Kenya -- East Africa's only contemporary art auction.
Ephrem Kouakou prefers to work while the world sleeps. The artist says that in the dead of night, absent the sound of any human voice or music, he can best hear the "spirits" talking.
From the Daily Nation Newspaper
The debate on whether art can pay has been around for a long time and remains urgent in Kenya today.
Many of our artists remain poor till death despite the few so-called celebrities driving around in big cars and wearing bling bling. The moneyed lot among our artists is very much a minority.
What Is African Art?
In the most basic sense, African art is a type of art that originated and is influenced by the number of diverse cultures in Africa.Just as many historians believe that Africa was the birthplace of all mankind, some art experts believe that African art was the beginning of all art. Whether this is true or not, like most other types of art, African art has roots in ancient times.
At a time when values for some blue-chip contemporary artworks have fallen by a third from a year ago, collectors are finding pockets of strength in a surprising new art mecca—Africa.
People in other countries more often consume the market of contemporary African art than Africans themselves.
Take for example the country of Kenya, in East Africa. You will not find framed, original African paintings in most citizens' homes. Furthermore, Kenyans often do not see African art as an official product, and surely do not view it as valuable now or gaining value over a lifetime. It is unfortunate that in Kenya and Africa as a whole, artists are abundant and their paintings very beautiful, but the public citizen does not recognize their talents. Why is this?