BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

ARTSPLIT launches platform to promote Nigerian art collections

ARTSPLIT, the pioneering art trading platform for African art, has announced the launch of its maiden edition of Modern and Contemporary Nigerian Arts (MOCONA) auction titled ‘Ode to Mastery’, featuring five prominent Nigerian artists, who are key drivers of the contemporary art scene on the continent. The artists include: Abiodun Olaku, Duke Asidere, Edosa Ogiguo, El-Dragg Okwoju and Oliver Enwonwu.

The two weeks MOCONA, which started on July 15, 2022 will be a split auction, followed by a lease auction of individual works from the five artists. The works will also be available for physical viewing at Hourglass Gallery, No. 979 Saka Jojo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, for the duration of the auction that is expected to end on July 31, 2022 with a VIP closing event by 6pm at the same venue.

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 many 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 the split artworks for a set period.

The MOCONA auction follows a successful inaugural auction held in May, where Ben Enwonwu’s 1977 artwork ‘Agbogho Mmuo’ from the Ogolo series was valued at $105,000, as well as ARTSPLIT’s debut at the 59th Venice Biennale 2022, where the platform partnered with The African Art in Venice Forum (AAVF) and the South African pavilion.

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By presenting MOCONA, ARTSPLIT 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 to benefit from the growing ‘Art Economy’.

The platform (ARTSPLIT mobile app) allows art lovers to own fractions (also known as Splits) of prestigious African artworks, which they can trade in real-time. It provides opportunities for owners of investment-grade African art to list their works and have them evaluated and sold to members of the community, and offers advisory and management services for art collectors, which are personalised to requirements to manage art portfolios online fully and on offline platforms.

About the featured artists:

Famed for his highly finished and detailed depictions of Nigeria’s cities and landscapes, Abiodun Olaku is generally considered one of the country’s most accomplished oil painters. Olaku largely works in the traditional medium of oil; however, his work is not stuck in the past. The artist explores new horizons within established methods and techniques open to innovation.

El-Dragg Okwoju is an esteemed oil painter known for his vibrant depictions of Nigerian culture. Women are the subject matter at the core of Okwoju’s practice, often caught in an abstracted and ephemeral moment of ordinary life like dancing and celebrating life.

Duke Asidere expresses himself in thick, bold strokes through various media, including pencil work, oil, acrylic, pastels and transparencies. Having been raised in a female household, he has become known for his inquisitive portrayal of women in works that explore concepts like politics, society, culture and psychology – his architectural series offers a fresh perspective of Africa and his number plate and spray series have underlying political statements.

Edosa Ogiguo is one of Nigeria’s most famous artists for his large canvasses of equestrian and dancing scenes. His fascination with horses began after a visit to his wife’s family in northern Nigeria. 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.

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