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African art takes to the world stage once again, at the Africa Present auction

Latitudes will be co-curating Artnet Auctions’ second Africa Present sale, an auction designed to highlight the work of up-and-coming as well as established artists from the African continent. 

Artnet is a leading resource for buying, selling, and researching art online. Founded in 1989, the online platform has revolutionised the way people discover and collect art today. “Latitudes is thrilled to be able to partner with a giant of the industry, in order to both broaden the collector base for art from Africa and set values for contemporary, living artists on the auction market,” says Lucy MacGarry, co-founder of Latitudes Online.

The Africa Present auction, a partnership between Artnet and Africa First by Serge Tiroche, is a dynamic initiative that uses the reach, contacts, and capabilities of Artnet’s global art marketplace to raise awareness about contemporary artists from Africa. In a forward-thinking bid to feature artists across all career stages, the auction lots are categorised into three sections: Meet, Support and Invest. 

Latitudes Online, which was founded during the 2020 lockdown, has made a name for itself, not only as a platform that promotes and sells art from the African continent, but also as an organisation that focuses on identifying and supporting new talent. It was therefore a natural fit for the two parties to come together, and for Latitudes to co-curate the Meet section of the upcoming sale, in which new talent is showcased. “Currently, there is an explosion of fresh talent on the continent, and we’re delighted to be able to introduce these new voices to the huge global audience that Artnet has built over the past 32 years,” says Roberta Coci, co-founder of Latitudes Online.

Participating artists for the Meet selection include, among others: Cinthia Sifa Mulanga, Lwando Dlamini, Kimathi Mafafo, Manyaku Mashilo, Sthenjwa Luthuli and Shakil Solanki.

Bidders can also expect to find notable works by artists such as Bouvy Enkobo, Dennis Muraguri, Ablade Glover and Joseph Ntensibe in the Support and Invest sections of the sale.

About Africa Present

The inaugural Africa Present auction took place in April 2021, and did extremely well, setting 11 artist auctions records (5 for new artists to auction, and 6 additional records).

With over 200,000 email subscribers, 3.2 million social media followers, and 12.5 million monthly pageviews sitewide, Artnet is perfectly positioned to bring contemporary African art into the spotlight, and Latitudes is delighted to have been invited to co-curate the second auction. “We can proudly attest to a landslide success of our first Africa Present auction that has enticed more competitive and early bidding than any other sale I have witnessed in my department since joining the company,” said Johannes Vogt, the Head of the Post-War and Contemporary Art department.

Artnet Auctions is having its biggest year on record, setting online auction revenue records, and defying the pandemic-related weakness that has affected much of the art market in 2020 and into 2021. As the fourth biggest auction house in terms of online sales behind Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips, Artnet has been pushing forward with new initiatives, and succeeding in expanding its overall market presence.

About Africa First

Africa First was founded by Serge Tiroche in 2017 as a platform to support and promote Contemporary Art from the continent. Tiroche has broad experience as a collector, gallery owner, dealer, curator and art fund manager. Following seven years running the Tiroche DeLeon Collection, he decided to focus his private collecting and his residency program on emerging artists from Africa and the African diaspora. The Africa First collection now exceeds 400 works by some 150 artists from Africa and the diaspora, and is fully available online for curators to browse. Besides acquisitions, the platform commissions work, sponsors prizes, initiates projects and exhibitions, advises collectors and other market participants and is active on social media. Africa First is proud to have conceived of and developed Africa Present - the African Contemporary art department at Artnet.

About Latitudes Online

Latitudes is an online destination to explore and buy contemporary art from Africa. With a constantly changing, curated selection of art from the continent and the diaspora, the site brings together artworks presented by galleries, curators, studios, not-for-profit organisations and independent artists themselves.

The first platform of this kind dedicated to art from Africa, Latitudes is designed to help collectors discover creativity from the continent in a non-intimidating and accessible way. With over 800 artists represented on the site, Latitudes is well on its way to becoming the largest online destination for art from Africa.

Passionate as the organisation is about identifying and nurturing new talent, Latitudes introduced an Education programme in 2021, through which it has mentored and directly benefited over 80 creatives in South Africa. Latitudes Education is set to expand into the continent in 2022.

To enquire about any of the artworks in this exhibition

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