The African arts scene has been enjoying a renaissance lately according to many observers. Many museums in New York and London have opened their doors to works from African artists and more expositions revolving around the African arts scene have been showcased lately. Many factors can be attributed to the recent boom of African art on the world scale, particularly the ability for African artists to showcase their talents online.
The Online Arts Scene is Booming
More and more African artists are using the internet to sell their artwork online through a variety of outlets. And it isn’t simply limited to African artists either. In this piece published by Shopify on new artists selling their art online, a Canadian artist by the name of Maria Qamar said that she was able to quit her job at an advertising agency to pursue her art career thanks to online platforms that allow artists to sell their pieces online. The internet completely changed the art scene by allowing artists to showcase their pieces to thousands of potential buyers around the world in seconds without having to work through an art gallery or other traditional means.
More Western Museums Embracing African Art
Angola’s recent success at the Vienna biennale opened the door to many artists from the continent. El Anatsui, a Ghanaian sculptor, has seen his sculptures being showcased in museums. He is most renowned for his elaborate pieces made of bottle tops which are tied together using copper wire to create colorful tapestries. His art was displayed at the Brooklyn museum and he was one of the new African artists whose work has been displayed in major American museums over the last few years.
According to one of the museum’s curators, Kevin Dumouchelle, El Anatsui, who was known as one of the biggest contemporary artists in Africa, gained global popularity thanks to the exhibition.
Global Audiences are Slowly Catching up
Dumouchelle also stated that El Anatsui works have been enjoying more visibility across the Atlantic as well, where the London Royal Academy asked for the artist to create an elaborate wall hanging sculpture for their summer exhibition. The installation coincided with another exhibition at the Tate Modern, which is known as one of the most prominent contemporary art museums in the world. The fact that the London Royal Academy and an institution as respected as the Tate Modern simultaneously decided to feature works by African artists allowed artists from the continent to enjoy even more recognition on the global stage. These showcases have started a trend that can still be felt today as more and more African artists are seeing a sudden spike in demand for their work.
Trend Shows no Sign of Slowing Down
Thanks to the proliferation of new outlets and more recognition from world renowned institutions, the future of African art seems very bright. As more artists are getting recognized by the global arts scene, more are entering the arts which could have a snowball effect on the arts scene of the continent as a whole.