Arts Collaboratory

32° | East Ugandan Arts Trust

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Posted on: Tuesday 13 August 2019
For this week’s #TextonTuesday, KLA ART Labs participant Martin Kharumwa recommends ‘Reading the Contemporary: African Art from Theory to the Marketplace’. He is recommending this book because it speaks to the current reality of the art industry where collectors can benefit from the artist’s body of work while the artists do not make any money from it. Can we imagine a world where the art work comes with a leasehold title? “A good illustration of this perpetual disjuncture between hype and remuneration is the Nigerian graphic artist, Middle Art, whose barber-shop signs were brought to the attention of the world by Ulli Beier and others in the early 1970s. In the 1990s, Middle Art’s signs are still voraciously collected in the West, especially in Germany, where the artist continues to command critical attention and dealers continue to receive orders from collectors. But after over thirty years of selling to collections, it is remarkable to note that Middle Art has remained poor, unable to afford a proper studio or indeed, as a German dealer recently told me, to make a decent living from his work” Come read this book from the 32° East library any day of the week!