The Striking Contemporary Art of West Africa

Tunde Folawiyo In West Africa today, artists in many mediums are putting out bold and provocative work, and receiving attention, awards and accolades worldwide. Support and promotion comes from collectors and investor’s native to or working in West Africa, including Tunde Folawiyo, and other ardent collectors of African art. For more information on this collector, discover Tunde Folawiyo’s creative projects and interests online.

Abdoulaye Konaté, praised as one of the top fifty African artists in any medium by the Independent, was born in Mali in 1953, and lives and works there today. His studies took place in Bamako (where he now serves as the director of an arts conservatory) as well as a period spent in Havana, Cuba. His work, which merges the field of painting with elements of installation art, tends toward social and political commentary, with a focus on the way that pressing issues from ecology to economy and political strife affect people’s everyday life. He works in paints and canvas, with larger works often being made in textile. Konaté’s piece Pouvoir et Religion, a large work in textile, recently appeared in the show “We Face Forward,” along with other visual art and music from West Africa, in Manchester.

Nigerian artist Dilomprizulike, known as ‘The Junkman from Africa’ creates sculptures and large installations made from found objects. He was a student at the University of Nigeria, and holds an MFA from the University of Dundee, in Scotland. His largest and most famous work is a full museum created out of refuse, which also serves as his dwelling, originally installed in his current home in Lagos but replicated for museum displays elsewhere. Some consider his life in this collected museum to be a work of performance art. He also creates installations in locations worldwide using refuse particular to the region. Many see his work as a reflection of contemporary consumerism, or statements on social situations in his homelands. His works was shown in London at the Africa Remix exhibition, and he is considered preeminent among sculptures and mixed media artists working in Africa today.

The world’s interest in West African artwork is growing, particularly due to the strong, original work artists like these are producing, and increased awareness due to exhibitions focused on bringing attention to West African work, and these trends are expected to continue, with much strong work still to come.

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