The African Art Series Launches At Bvlgari Hotel London21st October 2021
The Luxury Network Nigeria launched an exciting art project titled The African Art Series on 7-9 October 2021, to coincide with the celebration of Black History Month in the UK.
The contemporary African art pop up dazzled over three days in the elegant surroundings of Bvlgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, London. The exhibition showcased works from renowned African artists, Ben Enwonwu MBE and El Anatsui, as well as some of the rising stars of art’s fastest-growing sector, presenting a fabulous display of artwork from across the African continent for invited guests, and later the public to appreciate and invest in. Watch video here.
The event began with a private drinks reception in the contemporary surroundings of a spacious Bvlgari suite. The specially invited guests drawn from the worlds of banking, media, art, fashion and luxury were treated to mouth-watering Italian canapes prepared by Bvlgari Hotel London chef, Adriano Cavagnini, accompanied by delicious Ruinart champagne. Among the 250 glamorous guests in attendance were the Nigerian High Commissioner HE Sarafa Tunji Isola, Coutts, Hello Magazine, The Times Luxx, JP Morgan, Bicester Village, the Viscount de Contades, Lady Camilla Beresford, alongside notable Nigerian guests including Tunji Akintokun MBE, Adeola Bali, Adetilewa Adebajo and others. Touria El Glaoui, founder of the renowned 1-54 African Art Fair also attended the prestigious event.
The guests were welcomed to the event by Kostas Sfaltos, General Manager of Bvlgari Hotel London, “We are proud to support The Luxury Network Nigeria’s inaugural contemporary art showcase ‘The African Art Series’, and look forward to welcoming and connecting with both the London and African art communities.”
Cas Ojo, MD, The Luxury Network Nigeria and founder of the Series spoke next discussing the origins and the thinking behind the exhibition. “The African Art Series was created to encourage a different kind of conversation and narrative about Africa and its art. We want to challenge preconceptions and misconceptions by presenting the brilliance, beauty and creativity of art from Africa and its diaspora, in stunning surroundings of luxury and opulence.” She was joined by Helena Warren, Managing Director of The Luxury Network UK, who spoke of her love for African art and support for the project.
Ojo went on to introduce Hannah O’Leary, the Director of Contemporary African Art at Sotheby’s. O’Leary shared her extensive knowledge of the market, its art and its artists. Discussing how the meteoric rise in global attention has led to increasing international acclaim and skyrocketing prices. She advised collectors and would-be collectors, “As with any art, always check authenticity and provenance, and above all, buy what you love.”
O’Leary was followed by the Patron of the series, Yvonne Fasinro, Head of Sub Saharan Africa at Bank of America and then Serge Tiroche, Founder of Africa First and the Tiroche DeLeon Collection
Following the keynote speeches, the guests were ushered into the magnificent Bvlgari ballroom to delight in the creative depth and technical flair of the array of works from some of Africa’s most celebrated artists. Expressive landscape paintings from Ben Enwonwu MBE, the Nigerian master painter, featured alongside a typically vibrant abstraction of bustling town-life by renowned Ghanaian artist and educator, Ablade Glover. Sculptural work from fellow esteemed Ghanaian El Enatsui, whose carved tropical hardwood ‘tempera’ work was displayed alongside Steve Ekpenisi’s depiction of traditionally male metalwork design, and an intricate wood panel sculpture by Bruce Onobrakpeya.
A myriad of paintings, drawings, photographs, and mixed media works, by rising names such as Wole Lagunju, Devan Shimoyama, Pamela Phatismo Sunstrum, Giggs Kgole, Niyi Olagunju, Zanele Muholi and Asiko, were chosen to explode the myth that a simplistic aesthetic can tell the story of the most compelling contemporary African Art.