contemporary African art witnessing boom
In an art gallery in the heart of the Ugandan capital Kampala, abstract paintings by a Ugandan painter hang.
Paintings by Charlene Komuntale, a contemporary Ugandan artist,
are among many by African artists that have graced these gallery walls over the
Contemporary African art has a rich and diverse history that
dates back to prehistoric times, with a variety of artistic expressions,
including sculpture, masks, paintings and textiles.
For a long time, African artists never got that same kind of
recognition as their European and American counterparts.
A new trend, however, is tilting that narrative with many art
collectors now focusing on African contemporary art, as Daudi Karungi, an
artist and curator at Afriart Gallery, explains.
“This is a great time for art from Africa and from Africans,
because for many years it was neglected, there was no attention to it... until
I would say 7 or 8 years ago," he says.
Karungi says that in the past, most collectors of contemporary
African art were expatriates who worked on the continent.
Indigenous Africans did not pay much attention to the stories
being told through art and neglected the industry, leading to many artists
selling their work to buyers from outside of the continent.
With modernization and exposure to the different cultures in
recent years, the art industry has seen a significant increase in local
clientele that are consuming African art, says Karungi.