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The Nigerian Art Scene

Updated: Apr 29, 2021



With more than 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria has a diverse and rich culture, with art being one of the main cultural ways of expression.


Nigeria has been a key influence of the emerging West African contemporary art scene. Diverse artists such as Ben Enwonwu, whose Tutu painting, also called the African Mona Lisa, sold for a record $1.6m in 2018, largely impacted the current art environment in Nigeria.


The contemporary art scene in Nigeria today was highly impacted in the early 1900s, by artists such as Aina Onabolu, who laid the foundation through their modern art. Although there is a lack of governmental incentives in the development of art, the scene maintains itself through private investments pushed by different institutions and fairs.


The art scene comprises a mixture of artists in Nigeria, and of Nigerian heritage living in the diaspora. This combination of the African and Western countries is reflected within the art work.


The international presence of African artists can not just be seen in the emerging number of African art exhibited in international galleries, but also through Art fairs like the first West African international Art fair, Art X Lagos, which attracts an international audience from more than 100 countries yearly.


Art X Lagos was founded in 2016 with the purpose to provide a platform, and highlight contemporary art in Africa, and its diaspora.


There are so many talented artists we’d love to highlight. Swipe through the carousel to read more about a few of them.


Check out the visuals and artist information in our Instagram post here!


To get more insights about the vibrant and talented artists follow @artxlagos@artnewsafrica@tsaartmagazine


@shonibarestudio @laolunyc @njidekaakunyilicrosby @oluhyperclassical @jacquelinesuowari @yomibas@victorehikhamenor


Sources: modupeola.com, saatchiart.com, nytimes.com, avantgallery.com, guardian.ng, laolu.nyc, victoria-miro.com


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