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The Concept of Art Collection – Ntuthuko Mpofu Takes A Look At How & Why People Collect Art

“Why am I buying art? Is it going to appreciate in value over time? Am I paying a fair price for it?”

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The Concept of Art Collection - Ntuthuko Mpofu Takes A Look At How & Why People Collect Art Asante Afrika Magazine
The Late Sindika Dokolo, 1972-2020
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I am forever indebted to the experienced artists who gave me a head start in my journey to know more about art. In  our first article, we highlighted the Contemporary Art culture. It is my self-imposed mandate to unveil and exhibit African art on this forum, which may be accessible to us as ordinary Africans, while we continue seeking an understanding and appreciation of art. The invitation by visual artist Bukhosi Nyathi to his open studio exhibition changed my perspective towards the visual arts in Africa, because art makes us see in a broader and more comprehensive sense.

No single scholar can claim specialised knowledge of all periods in the history of art, but we do acknowledge those who have dedicated their lives to finding out more about art. As I write this issue, I would like to eulogise the life of the great Congolese collector, Sindika Dokolo, who was married to Isabel dos Santos, and died tragically in a sea-accident in Dubai on October 29th this year. Death has robbed us of one of the best art advocates. He started collecting art at the age of 15 and owned one of the world’s most important contemporary art collections. As described by Quartz Africa, he earned his reputation as a great supporter of African art. He has been reported to have more than 3000 works by the likes of South Africans Zanele Muholi and Kentridge, Kudzanai Chiurai of Zimbabwe, Barthelemy Togua of Cameroon, and Edson Chagas of Angola, among others.

Sindika Dokolo also played a huge role in advocating for the return of stolen artefacts. He also built a foundation in Luanda, Angola, which helped in promoting African contemporary art by displaying part of his collection, in addition to the free lending of some of the works to international museums that agreed to appraise the art, from the perspective of Africans. His death has been a big blow to the whole art fraternity.

Now, back to the matter at hand, when one is buying art as a beginner, there are always many things they should consider before buying the art; questions like, “Why am I buying art? Is it going to appreciate in value over time? Am I paying a fair price for it?” etc. We all talk about preparing for the future, but in art, I believe it’s also a mind game of saying that one can determine the price fairness at that particular time, based on the current market information. Many people don’t want to take a risk of investing in art, because they don’t know how to read the art market. You don’t want to invest in something that you cannot fathom whether the value will appreciate in future, or not, therefore it is best to do some research and find out as much as you can before buying a piece. 

“How do I find it? Who can help me buy the art? Where do I start to look for it?”

Also, before buying art, everyone should ask themselves if they are buying art for enjoyment, or as an investment. Art can be a lifestyle choice, a decorative choice, or simply a representation of beauty in an environment. It can also be about exploring fascinating perspectives, which can be informative, or even educative. The question to ask at this point should be, “What happens when I see a certain piece?” There are many benefits of one investing in exclusive and valuable art pieces. If I am buying art, I ask myself the following questions… “How do I find it? Who can help me buy the art? Where do I start to look for it?” After finding the available different kinds of art, the next step would be to decide what kind of art you want to focus on. The eye and your taste will determine this part of the process. The more art you see, the more visually literate and open-minded you become on different art subjects. There has been an increase on online art sales, so there is a variety of works to collect. The best advice I would give to any upcoming art collector, is to read about art to broaden your knowledge. If you are not familiar with the art market, it will be difficult to know how much you should spend.

The Concept of Art Collection - Ntuthuko Mpofu Takes A Look At How & Why People Collect Art Asante Afrika Magazine
The Late Sindika Dokolo, 1972-2020 

When buying art, make sure that you limit your purchases – do not go too deep, too fast, as they say. One should start off by buying reasonably priced art. You cannot put big money into something that you don’t have a full understanding of. Building relationships with artists is one of the best things; try to understand where the artist is coming from, and what his/her goals are in terms of art as a career. As you become more experienced and confident in your art buying, you can gradually increase your price per piece. One artist once told me to buy their best work, rather than buying smaller pieces, because when you are planning to get into art buying once you better understand the marketplace and especially the art and artists whose work you collect, an excellent strategy is to buy the best work by an artist rather than smaller or less significant works. If the best work is too expensive or you’re not all that experienced, sometimes starting smaller is better.

Another option is to start with artists whose best work is more affordable and within your price range. Whatever you do, don’t get ahead of your knowledge level. Take your time, get grounded, and learn how to effectively navigate the arts scape first. Throughout the buying process, I have finally gotten to understand why building a relationship is important. Open studios will be the best way to building those relationships, because at times buying from galleries will mean that the price has been escalated. With the Covid-19 pandemic, it is better to keep a look out on social platforms like Instagram, as online platforms have made a big impact on business, which can lead to sales. In fact, we can no longer talk about the concept of buying art without talking about the appreciation of the digital era. You can now discover so much more varied types of art from different artists around the world, and make a purchase if you like what you see, just at the touch of a button.

.The Concept of Art Collection - Ntuthuko Mpofu Takes A Look At How & Why People Collect Art Asante Afrika Magazine 

Collection by Ivy & Alison Co. 

Untitled 

35cm x 40cm 

Acrylic on Sandboard

The Concept of Art Collection - Ntuthuko Mpofu Takes A Look At How & Why People Collect Art Asante Afrika Magazine

Collection by Ivy & Alison Co. 

Title: Chasing Chickens 2

 Size: 46cm x 61cm 

Acrylic on Canvas Panel

Connect with Ntuthuko on IG: @iam_ntuthuko

Creative Outlet

Oyedele Abiodun – Nigeria’s Master of Fine Art

His close proximity to nature and his love for outdoor features, further enhance his artistic talent.

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Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art
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“I paint what I see… by arranging colours side by side to form a unified whole; to enjoy the obvious that may be consciously hidden or otherwise. As perceived, light is the key that traverse in my paintings, unveiling the beauty of nature and its components in their various values. The world as represented by our environment, is beautiful to be a unique subject matter. ”                                         

Oyedele abiodun’s artist statement
Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art Asante Afrika Magazine
Oyedele Abiodun Fine Art:
On The Look Out, Oil on canvas, 90 x 90cm, 2019

Born in 1991, Oyedele Abiodun Oyewumi, from Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria, is a master of fine art whose talent is unmatched. Having discovered his love for Art in high school, and even as a sciences student doing maths, physics, chemistry, etc., the kind and bubbly artist went on to studied fine art at university. Fascinated by the happenings in his environment from his teenage years, his decision to pursue art as a profession was inspired simply by his love and passion for Art. His close proximity to nature and his love for outdoor features, further enhance his artistic talent.   

Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art Asante Afrika Magazine
On Her Mind, Oil on Canvas, 75cm x 60cm, 2019

When asked if he is happy with the choice that he made of not pursuing a career in Sciences and following his heart to do Art, Oyedele said he is absolutely happy with his decision, and even more so because his parents support him completely, in all ways, and they never judged him or put pressure on him to do so called “stable careers” in the sciences sector, but instead, they encouraged him to follow his heart and do what he loved and enjoyed.

Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art Asante Afrika Magazine
Behind Her Smile, Oil on Canvas, 75cm x 60cm, 2019

Oyedele graduated from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, in 2015 with a Second-Class Upper Degree in Fine and Applied Arts and a concentration in painting. He majored in Painting and minored in sculpture. Says Oyedele, “I believe Art and science goes hand in hand, in terms of material used for the creation of art, the form of Art, and the process. Science and technology give me more understanding about how art materials are made at the factory, and how they can be improvised and produced locally. For example, one would ask, “How can we make the process of creating an art piece faster, durable and efficient?” Technology has been able to answer these questions.”

Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art Asante Afrika Magazine
Her Livelihood, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, 2019

After graduating from LAUTECH, Oyedele went on to do a year of National Service, which is compulsory in Nigeria. He served in a village called Daudawa, Faskari Local Government Area, Kastina State, Nigeria, as a class teacher in a public Secondary School. “The experience was a great one”, says Oyedele, and he was able to impact and inspire the young ones positively. He also enjoyed meeting people from a different state, who have different cultures and a different identity altogether.

Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art Asante Afrika Magazine
Hope, 90cm x 60cm, Oil on Canvas, 2019

Upon completion of his National Service, Oyedele taught Fine Art at Gomal Baptist College for a year. His focus was to help the young ones foster the same enthusiasm he has for Art. “What excited me most was the passion my students have for Art; this was expressed through their willingness to come to my office for additional drawing class during their spare time. It was a great experience.”

Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art Asante Afrika Magazine
Her Voice, Her Strength, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 75cm, 2019

Currently, the fine art creative is actually pursuing a Master’s Degree in Technology in Painting (M.Tech.) at LAUTECH, whereupon on completion, he will emerge a true “Master of Fine Art”. M.Tech is equivalent to Master of Fine Art (M.F.A.), and it holds the same qualification advantages as the M. F. A.

Oyedele says he markets his art personally via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and an online art gallery. Says Oyedele, “The advent of online art marketing has been a great help to the emerging artists to share their work to the rest of the world. Ultimately, it has been a real lifesaver.”

Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art Asante Afrika Magazine
The Making Of Beauty II, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 60cm, 2019

What he enjoys the most about being an artist is the feeling of being at peace, and the sense of fulfillment whenever he finishes a piece. According to Oyedele, one of his biggest achievements as a professional artist was having one of his pieces titled ‘Catch Them Young’, recently selected for the global conversation exhibition UN75, 2020) by the United Nations. “It was a great honor”, says the artist. He has also taken part in some exhibitions, including ‘The Other Side’ (Alliance Francaise, Ibadan, 2019), ‘Broken Earth’ (Nexus Exchange Nigeria, Lagos, 2019), and an international group exhibition, ‘Seen Form’ (HYB4 Galarie, Prague, 2020).

According to Abiodun, obstacles faced as an artist in his state and in Nigeria wholly, include low patronage and very few opportunities for emerging artists. “It is very difficult financially, because you don’t always sell a piece every day”. He thinks that to address these obstacles, provision of more funds to the Art sector can be looked into, and more opportunities can be created and availed to upcoming artists.

Oyedele Abiodun - Nigeria's Master of Fine Art Asante Afrika Magazine
Catch Them Young, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, 2019

His parting words to a young artist who would like to study art professionally but is being discouraged by family or society are, “Do what you like doing, follow your heart, don’t give up. Consistency is the key, keep at it.”

Connect with Oyedele:

oyedeleabiodun@gmail.com

www.instagram.com/oyedeleabiodunfineart

www.facebook.com/oyedeleabiodunoyewumi

Interviewed by Gugu Mpofu

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Creative Outlet

A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku

“I look around me for inspiration; I am inspired primarily by the things that happen in my community. My work is a reflection of my reality.”

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Omega Masuku Art
Omega Masuku Art
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Hazel Lifa

Of all art forms, abstract art is definitely the most subjective, and at times misunderstood. Despite this fact, Omega Masuku has stood her ground and established herself as an abstract painter. The Bulawayo based artist was born to parents Morris Masuke, a self-employed refrigerator technician, and Viola Masuku, a stay at home mom, on February 22nd, 1999 in Mount Darwin, Harare. She currently resides in Mzilikazi, and did her high schooling at Sobukhazi High.

Abstract Art

Relating to or denoting art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but rather seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, colours, and textures.

https://www.lexico.com/definition/abstract
A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku Asante Afrika Magazine
Abstract Artist, Omega Masuku

Omega has collaborated with an impressive number of artists and participated in exhibitions internationally that have cemented her status in the Bulawayo art scene. She has worked with a number of artists like Ghislan from France, Zimbabwean artist Owen Maseko, and Charlie Bhebhe, to name just a few. Omega’s work was featured in the moving Rembrandt exhibition, which celebrated Rembrandt’s paintings’ 360th anniversary.

A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku Asante Afrika Magazine
Omega Masuku Art
A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku Asante Afrika Magazine
Omega Masuku Art

Omega has also donated her skills to painting workshops in hospitals, working with fellow artists from Scotland whom she went on to do an online exhibition with. She managed to squeeze in a few minutes in her busy schedule to talk to us, where she draws attention to the need for more female artists.

“Abstract art is like creating your own world, and making people live in it.”

How did you get started on your artistic journey?

I have to say art is a talent one has to be born with; l started seriously perusing art when l was 12 years old.

Did you attend school for your art, if so which one, and how was the experience?

Yes, l studied at Harare Polytechnical where I did Art and Design, and also Art and Visual Art. After graduating I moved to Bulawayo, where I went to the Mzilikazi Craft Centre and studied for a year, before I got called to work at the National Art gallery.

A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku Asante Afrika Magazine
Omega Masuku Art
A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku Asante Afrika Magazine
Omega Masuku Art

When did you know you wanted to do art as an actual job?

I knew in high school, in form 2. l realised that I’m always happy when I’m drawing or sketching.

What was the first-ever piece you made? What did you think about it? Do you think you did a good job?

My first piece I did was titled Broken Promises. l think it was great because I got a lot of positive feedback on the painting from my colleagues. I didn’t expect them to like it as much as they did, and that really boosted my confidence in my craft.

A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku Asante Afrika Magazine
Omega Masuku Art

When you create, what inspires your work, and what is in your artistic process?

 I look around me for inspiration; I am inspired primarily by the things that happen in my community. My work is a reflection of my reality.

Abstract Art is so subjective; how do you deal with the many different interpretations of your work?

I learnt early on that art is putting myself out there, and that people have opinions, but that shouldn’t stop me from creating. Abstract art is like creating your own world, and making people live in it.

Most African people don’t see art as a practical profession, how have you dealt with this?

It’s a bit challenging and annoying (Masuku rolls her eyes), but I have tried with a few other female artists like Nhlanhla Mathe and Zanele Masuku, to introduce art at schools. I try to support young upcoming artists like myself as much as I can. Educating parents about art also goes a long way – inviting them to exhibitions and to galleries.

A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku Asante Afrika Magazine
Omega Masuku Art

How did your parents feel about your choice, did they have other ideas for your future?

Actually, my mom didn’t want me to become an artist; she wanted me to be a doctor. It was a challenge to make her understand that art makes me happy, but she’s coming around.

Do you look up to other artists, and if so, who?

Yes, l do look up to my mentor, Gorge Masarira, an amazing artist and teacher.

How is the art scene in Bulawayo?

With the current economic struggles, it has been slow. Art is considered a luxury you know, and many don’t have a penny to spare. Before the covid19 pandemic, there were workshops where networking was done, I could do collaborations with other artists and galleries, and those were great opportunities for marketing one’s work. 

At times your work doesn’t qualify for an exhibition; for example, they give you a theme and a short amount of time to work on it, and your work doesn’t make the cut, which is always a downer, but you keep moving forward. Growing pains. 

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you be doing instead?

I would definitely want to still be linked to art somehow, maybe as an art teacher or a professor in Visual Art.

No job is perfect, what are some of the issues you face in your profession?

Yoh! Where do I begin?! As a female in the male-dominated Bulawayo art scene, it is hard to be taken seriously. I constantly have to put myself out there, and work twice as hard to get the same attention and credit, as a guy whose technique and skill are inferior to mine. The guys in the industry are forever trying to make things about romance, but seriously, I don’t have time for that. 

Another challenge is marketing one’s work; it’s hard to get the word out there about your art. Social media is a double edged sword, because while it promotes your work, it also opens the door to theft and plagiarism. Someone can easily take your work, change a few things, and pass it off as theirs.  

A Chat With Abstract Artist Omega Masuku Asante Afrika Magazine
Omega Masuku Art

What advice do you have for other aspiring abstract artists, or artists in general?

I will say don’t let the fear strike you down, keep on painting, you will get there. Trust your talent and avoid being in competition with everyone around you. Also, collaborations are vital in art.

Omega is also a capable fine artist, but favours abstract art more. For those interested in getting in contact with the artist for a personal piece, or collaboration, or exhibitions, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter, Omega Masuku; Instagram Natasha_natie_ or email her at simzmegarts@gmail.com.

Interviewed by Hazel Lifa

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Entertainment

What’s Trending in the Entertainment Industry

“It has been beautiful to see Nigerians around the world coming together to protest against police brutality.” ~ Wizkid

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Nigerian Singer & Songwriter, Wizkid
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Hazel Lifa

MUSIC

Wizkid

You know things are bad when musicians start dedicating their art to social issues. Which is exactly what Nigerian artist, Wizkid did. Wizkid has dedicated his latest album ‘Made in Lagos’, to the citizens of Nigeria, in light of the recent police brutality towards #EndSARS protesters. Wizkid stated in a press release: “It has been beautiful to see Nigerians around the world coming together to protest against police brutality.”

Burna Boy

Burna Boy was another big musician shedding light on the despairing SARS situation in Nigeria. The star released a new track titled 20:10:20. The song dropped on the same day the Lekki Massacre happened, where 12 people protesting against the brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), lost their lives as they were gunned down by the police.

Zimbabwean Rapper Cal Vin Gone Too Soon

What's Trending in the Entertainment Industry Asante Afrika Magazine
Cal Vin Mgcini Nhliziyo (1984 – 2020)

African rap has lost a real one in a shocking, tragic and brutal hit and run accident. Zimbabwean rapper, Calvin Nhliziyo, aka Cal Vin, was struck by a car on his way back home from an outing in the wee hours of Sunday 25th October. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his death have brought up suspicions of foul play, two years ago the rapper released a song titled ‘Banjalo Abantu’ which many saw as a jab at Zimbabwe’s ruling party’s conduct. Police investigations are still underway. He was 35yrs old and he left behind his mother, and his beloved two year old daughter, Khloe.

 

MOVIES / SERIES

Netflix has definitely been heating up in 2020, with bigger and better content. It fills my heart with joy to see the streaming company start to showcase African movies big time. There are obviously more African movies on the platform than the handpicked three below, so we encourage all to check them out.

King of Boys

King of Boys is a 2018 Nigerian crime political thriller film written, co-produced and directed by Kemi Adetiba.  This is Kemi Adetiba’s second director gig. The movie tells the story of Alhaja Eniola Salami (played by Sola Sobowale), a businesswoman and philanthropist with a promising political future. She is drawn into a struggle for power which in turn threatens everything around her as a result of her growing political ambitions. To come out of this on top, she is caught up in a game of trust, not knowing whom really to look up to, and this leads to her ruthlessness. The movie stars rappers Illbliss and Reminisce in their movie debut roles. Other cast members include Paul Sambo, Sani Muazu, Toni Tones, and Osas Ajibade.

Seriously Single

Dineo (Fulu Mugovhani) is the definition of a serial monogamist, but she always ends up being dumped. When she meets Lunga Sibiya, he seems to be the man she’s waited her whole life for, a man who shares her values when it comes to love and relationships. Or so she thinks – After a messy breakup with Lunga, her commitment-phobic bestie, Noni (Tumi Morake), helps Dineo face what she dreads most: life as a single woman. Now at her lowest point, Noni encourages Dineo to enjoy the spoils of singledom. Together, they take the city nightlife by storm with twists and turns in sue.

The Perfect Picture, Ten Years Later

The girls are back. And their lives haven’t lost one spark of the drama they had 10 years ago. In fact, these girls are saddled with more issues in their not-so-fairy-tale relationships. It’s a beautiful mess of imperfect husbands, repentant ex-boyfriends, and daring romantic exploits. The Ghanaian movie about growing up and everything in between. This sequel offers a colourful and humorous look into a world where everything is as perfect as your life and that of your friends.

The original film was about the same three women pushing their thirties and making bold attempts to change their lives.


BOOKS

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

What's Trending in the Entertainment Industry Asante Afrika Magazine

This book is considered a gem of African excellence by critics, in not only as literature but in our ability to tell a story. The novel is Adébáyọ̀’s first novel and was shortlisted for the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction. It is set in Nigeria; providing us with the voices of both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage–and the complications that threatened their home.

Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett

What's Trending in the Entertainment Industry Asante Afrika Magazine

The book is the African equivalent to Kafka’s Metamorphosis. It tells the story of Furo Wariboko, a Nigerian man, who wakes up one day to discover that he has become white. Helon Habila writes in The Guardian: “Igoni Barrett’s greatest asset is his ability to satirise the ridiculous extents people, especially Lagosians, go to in order to appear important.”

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