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.

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Contemporary art in modern Africa | The Times | Tristan McConnell

Michael Soi is flecked with paint when I meet him at his studio, a high, rough-walled room in a converted warehouse in Nairobi’s industrial area. Stacked against walls and tables are his large acrylic on canvas paintings in flat, bright colours: buxom women with towering Afros, leering men in uniforms and suits, corrupt coppers, fat-cat politicians, pickpockets preying on bus queues … “The contemporary art scene in Kenya is inconceivable without Soi,” says Danda Jaroljmek, a director at Nairobi’s Circle Art Agency, which markets Kenyan art.

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International buyers boost the profile of African art | Financial Times | Katrina Manson

“In recent years the international art world has taken a keen interest in Africa as an investment opportunity; emerging financial markets are frequently followed by emerging art markets,” says Fiona Fox at Circle Art Agency, who helped set up the Tate’s Africa committee. Her Kenya-based agency hopes to hold the country’s first art auction later this year with a retrospective of the best Kenyan works from the past 30 years “to create a buzz” and “regulate” prices.

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