ARTSPLIT, the pioneering art trading platform for African art, which opened its maiden MOCONA – a Modern and Contemporary African Arts – auction weekend, says it would run until 31 July.
Seen as a first-of-its-kind auction with the title, ‘Ode to Mastery’, it is featuring 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 uniqueness of this auction, according to a statement sent to Business A.M., is that the 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 organisers said.
The MOCONA auction will be a split auction, followed by a lease auction of individual works from the five artists, and the two auctions are expected to run for two weeks (July 15th- July 31st). Physical viewing of the works will also be possible at Hourglass Gallery at Saka Jojo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos for the auction duration from July 25th till July 31st and online from July 15th.
This maiden auction comes on the heels of the successful inaugural auction held in May, where Ben Enwonwu’s 1977 artwork, ‘Agbogho Mmuo’, from his Ogolo series was valued at $105,000.
It will parade Abiodun Olaku, who is highly regarded for his highly-finished and detailed depictions of Nigeria’s cities and landscapes.
Also, El-Dragg Okwoju, an esteemed oil painter known for his vibrant depictions of Nigerian culture, will also be featured.
Another artist, Duke Asidere, who expresses himself in thick, bold strokes through various media, including pencil work, oil, acrylic, pastels and transparencies, will see him offer a fresh perspective of Africa through his architectural series.
Edosa Ogiugo is regarded as one of Nigeria’s most famous artists for his large canvasses of equestrian and dancing scenes. 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 includes:
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
With MOCONA, ARTSPLIT said it intends to raise the profile of the 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, describing the platform and method as the new ART ECONOMY!