In the next few days, specifically on November 5, 3013 the secondary art market of East Africa goes to test as debutant, Nairobi-based Circle Art Agency takes a shot at art auction.
Simon Mpata (Tanzanian, 1942–1984)
Untitled, circa 1981–3 signed ‘S. G. MPATA’ (middle right) enamel on board 60 x 60cm Ksh 120,000–170,000
Scheduled to hold at the new Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi, the auction could set the tone for what would be the East African country’s answer to Nigeria’s fledging art auctions. In the past five years, art auctions organised by Lagos-based ArtHouse Contemporary and Terra Kulture auction houses have increased art collection value in the country as well as resonated same in Europe and the U.S.
For Circle Art Agency that started art exhibitions in Kenya last year, it’s a test worth taking: "It's been an emotional journey visiting artists and art collectors at their homes or studios and selecting works that represent both the older and newer generations. We have encouraged the secondary market to participate, art collectors who have invested in Kenyan and East African art and we hope the auction will be evidence of the fact that art is a good personal and financial investment."