Friday 15 July 2022

Artsplit's 'Ode to Mastery' auction of Modern and Contemporary Nigerian Arts hits Lagos

'Market Day' (36 x 47in/96.52 x119.3 cm, unframed), by Edosa Ogiugo.

AS a pioneering art trading platform for African art, Artsplit has announced its maiden MOCONA - a Modern and Contemporary Nigerian Arts Auction due to take place from 15 - 31 July. This first-of-its-kind auction, titled Ode to Mastery, holding at Hourglass Gallery - 979 Saka Jojo St, Victoria Island, Lagos will feature five prominent Nigerian artists who are key drivers of the contemporary art scene on the continent: Abiodun Olaku, Duke Asidere, Edosa Ogiugo, El-Dragg Okwoju and Oliver Enwonwu.

The auction's VIP closing event is on July 31st by 6 pm at Hourglass Gallery.

 ARTSPLIT app allows users to own fractions of prominent African artworks, also known as "Splits," and keep or trade them on the app if they win the "Split Auction." The 

Splits allow multiple people to co-own a single iconic piece of art, which no other art platform allows. Users can also participate in a 'Lease Auction' on the app to win physical custody of these split artworks for a set period.

The MOCONA auction will be a split auction, followed by a lease auction of individual works from these 5 artists. Both auctions will run for two weeks (July 15th- July 31st). The works will also be available for physical viewing at Hourglass Gallery - 979 Saka Jojo St, Victoria Island 106104, Lagos for the auction duration from July 25th till July 31st and online from July 15th. 

The event follows the successful inaugural auction held in May, where Ben Enwonwu’s 1977 artwork ‘Agbogho Mmuo’ from the Ogolo series was valued at $105,000, as well as ARTSPLIT’s debut at the 59th Venice Biennale, where the platform partnered with The African Art in Venice Forum (AAVF) and the South African pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022.

Famed for his highly finished and detailed depictions of Nigeria's cities and landscapes, Abiodun Olaku is generally considered one of the country's most accomplished oil painters. Olaku largely works in the traditional medium of oil; however, his work is not stuck in the past. The artist explores new horizons within established methods and techniques open to innovation.

'Portrait of A Beggar' (17 x 9.5 inches/43.18 x 24.13 cm, unframed, oil on canvas, dated, 1994), by Abiodun Olaku

El-Dragg Okwoju is an esteemed oil painter known for his vibrant depictions of Nigerian culture. Women are the subject matter at the core of Okwoju’s practice, often caught in an abstracted and ephemeral moment of ordinary life like dancing and celebrating life.

Duke Asidere expresses himself in thick, bold strokes through various media, including pencil work, oil, acrylic, pastels and transparencies. Having been raised in a female household, he has become known for his inquisitive portrayal of women in works that explore concepts like politics, society, culture and psychology – his architectural series offers a fresh perspective of Africa and his number plate and spray series have underlying political statements.

Ogiugo is one of Nigeria's most famous artists for his large canvasses of equestrian and dancing scenes. His fascination with horses began after a visit to his wife's family in northern Nigeria. For Ogiugo, the technical challenges of mastering his subject matter inspire him more than anything else.

Oliver Enwonwu comes from a long line of remarkable artists, such as his grandfather, a reputable traditional sculptor, and his father, Ben Enwonwu, widely known and celebrated as Africa’s most celebrated pioneer modernist. Enwonwu interrogates the complex layers of history between Africa and the West in his work.

The complete list of works available at the auction and links to buy splits are as follows:

Abiodun Olaku, ‘The Seeker’ (Portrait of a beggar), 1994

El-Dragg Okwoju, Euphoria, 2022

Duke Asidere, The Death of Honour, 2022

Edosa Ogiugo, Market Day in Dalston, London, 2017

Oliver Enwonwu, Rite of Passage, 2022

By presenting MOCONA, ARTSPLIT intends to raise the profile of these artists further and introduce them to a new set of diverse art collectors and investors, which would ultimately boost the status of both their works and the platform. Indeed, this is the new ART ECONOMY!

'Death Of Honour (36 x 36 inches/91.44 x 91.44 cm, unframed, oil on canvas, 2022), by Duke Asidere.


ARTSPLIT is an art trading technology company driven by one common goal; enhancing the investment status of African art by allowing users to co-own rare and valuable artworks on a platform that guarantees price discovery and market liquidity.  Our mission is to position African art & artists as the preferred alternative investment choice by developing the African art ecosystem through technology and co-ownership.  We believe that in this way, we can make wealth accessible through alternative investments.

The platform (ARTSPLIT mobile app) allows art lovers to own fractions (also known as Splits) of prestigious African artworks, which they can trade in real-time. ARTSPLIT also provides opportunities for owners of investment-grade African art to list their works and have them evaluated and sold to members of our community.

ARTSPLIT also offers advisory and management services for art collectors, which are personalised to requirements to manage art portfolios online fully and on offline platforms.

To find out more about ARTSPLIT, send an email at or visit

You can also call or WhatsApp our mobile at +234(0)9088962169 and follow @artsplitofficial on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

ARTSPLIT can be downloaded on App Store and Google Play Store.

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