Kenya’s first online art auction almost sells out, brings big relief to industry | by Kari Mutu | The East African

Circle Art Agency set a record in October as Kenya’s first art online auction. The agency has been hosting annual auctions of modern and contemporary East African art since 2013 and has attracted international buyers and a growing base of Kenyan collectors.
This first virtual auction was a small event, with just 37 lots of mostly secondary market and modern works. However, it achieved a 90 percent sell-out rate and recorded Ksh14 million ($128,182) in sales.
“In spite of a difficult year, the East African art market is stable and growing,” said Danda Jaroljmek, director of Circle Art.

Art Auction East Africa 2020

Kenya: East African Art Auction Now a Real Tour De Force | Daily Nation | By Margaretta Wa Gacheru

The Seventh Annual Art Auction East Africa took place last night at the Raddison Blu Ballroom in Nairobi. It featured artworks that Circle Art Gallery founder-curator Danda Jaroljmek had assembled, drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Egypt and Congo.

One special feature of this year’s art auction was that nearly half the artworks were by Kenyans. There were 70 lots in the auction, with no less than 30 Kenyans represented.

Travelling circus unpacks its tent | The East African | Frank Whalley

A large painting by Cartoon Joseph sold for $3,500 in the recent East African art auction, where a fierce battle between two anonymous telephone bidders pushed the price of an original work by Eduardo Said Tingatinga to just over $54,000; six times its estimate … It is believed to be a world record price for Tingatinga at auction, and is the single highest sale price for any lot in the six auctions held so far by the Circle Art Agency of Nairobi.

Graffiti in Heaven – Hanging Out With Kenyan Street Artist, Wise Two | Kenya Buzz

The gallery takes away my breath. I stop on my tracks and turn my head to take in the magnificence, my backpack slung on my right shoulder. Everything is sparkling white: the walls, the floor, the doors. As though that doesn’t cut the picture well, little florescent tubes illuminate the entire place white – it’s like I walked onto the set of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies video. If you aren’t keen enough, you’ll miss seeing the corners.

Picasso’s Secret | Msafiri | Nina Siegal

“We’ve seen a big increase in local buyers and also interest from outside of Kenya.” Danda Jaroljmek says. “The gallery is regularly contacted by international collectors who want to know more about the African art scene and which artists they should be paying attention to. Artists we work with have been offered quite a lot of opportunities to show outside of Africa, and on top of that the artists themselves have been more active in looking for opportunities to show … “They see themselves not just pigeonholed as African artists, but as contemporary artists who want to be seen globally and are addressing issues that would be of interest anywhere in the world.”

Lot 1 Peterson Kamwathi from Art Auction East Africa Auction 2017

GALLERIES: Taking a chance on the market… | The East African | Frank Whalley

They say the best way to test the financial value of a work of art is to send it to auction. Let the market decide; the market is always right, the argument goes.

That is probably true as long as you do not confuse market value with artistic worth. I always think of the comment by Oscar Wilde… “A fool knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Also, it is an odd fact that sellers send work to auction believing it will attract the highest price, while buyers trot along hoping for a bargain.

Modern Masters | Msafiri

With East Africa’s first Modern and Contemporary Art Auction being held in Nairobi this month, msafiri takes a closer look at four of the works to go under the hammer. In recent years the art world has taken a keen interest in African art. However most of the attention has been focused on southern and West Africa. The Circle Art Agency is keen to expose local and international collectors to the wealth of artistic talent that exists in East Africa.