By Ogova Ondego
Published October 29, 2014
An art auction featuring work from 51 artists from six East African countries in 57 lots shall take place in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 3, 2014.
“This year’s auction features a wide range of art; hidden treasures from little-known artists such as the portraits from the 1970s by Ugandan Eli Kyeyene whose work has not been seen in public for decades, to cutting-edge contemporary artists such as Kenyan Gor Soudan just back from a museum solo show in Tokyo, plus works from Ethiopians Dawit Abebe and Ephrem Solomon, whose paintings were recently acquired for the Saatchi collection in London,” says Danda Jaroljmek whose Circle Art Agency is organising the event to be held at Villa Rosa Kempinski from 6.00 PM.
Saying the art to be auctioned was “acquired directly from the artists or from collectors from as far as the United States and Thailand” Jaroljmek says 90% of the art at the inaugural auction in 2013 “sold for more than three times the reserve price” and raised “more than Sh18.5 million (US$215,000)” in what Jaroljmek describes as buyers being “attracted to the emerging East African market and the desire to ‘discover’ East African art” whose artists are “lesser known than those from other parts of the continent whose works have recently sold for million-dollar price tags.”
Among the carefully selected artists whose work shall be in the exhibition include Maasai Mbili Collective who live and work from Nairobi’s Kibera slum; Texas (USA)-based Kenyan artist Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga who is represented by the October Gallery of London, England; Kenyans Peterson Kamwathi, Bertiers and Richard Onyango who have exhibited abroad and featured in international collections; and Edward TingaTinga, the father of Tanzania’s TingaTinga movement who painted for only four years before he was killed in an accident.
The auction is sponsored by CFC Stanbic Bank, Porsche, Villa Rosa Kempinski and Moët & Chandon.