Publish: 01 Sep 2021, 11:44 pm
For Abidjan-based artist Saint-Étienne Yéanzi, the continent's social and political reality has sparked a creative evolution for contemporary African artists, he says, giving them confidence to work and stay in Africa.
The contemporary art market in Ivory Coast and across sub-Saharan Africa has captured collectors' imaginations on a global scale, translating into profits for many artists like Saint-Etienne. He says the average value for individual pieces of his work increased from roughly around $8,000 to $60,000 in his seven years as an artist.
Other established African artists from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria recently grabbed international headlines at the bi-annual Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary African art auction in London. Renowned Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu's "Atlas" sold for over half a million dollars at a Sotheby's auction in March, setting a new world record for an African sculpture.
"Every time we break one of these records, we are setting new standards and elevating the reputation of our artists,'' she adds.