Nigeria’s ‘Mona Lisa’ Returns Home

Nigeria’s ‘Mona Lisa’ Returns Home

By CultureBanx Team

  • Ben Enwonwu’s famed “Tutu” was loaned to the Art X Lagos fair

  • The painting sold for a record $1.57M, the highest-valued work of Nigerian modern art

CBx Vibe:Precious” Sebastian Kamae

Nigeria’s best-known modern artist Ben Enwonwu’s famed “Tutu” painting is being shown in the country for the first time since it disappeared. Originally painted in 1974, it went missing the next year and finally re-surfaced in February in north London.

Why This Matters: “Tutu” was loaned to the Art X Lagos fair for a weekend showing by Access Bank earlier this month. Enwonwu is etched in Nigeria’s art history, but his work has not drawn the auction prices to match his stature. Part of the reason for this mismatch in pricing and stature could be Nigeria’s art market still finding its footing on the global stage.

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Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow

By Cheryl McGinnis

  • “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” exhibit runs through March 3, 2019

  • Jim Crow was a character created by a white actor for minstrel shows in NYC

CBx Vibe:Reflecting” Rich Homie Quan

When Megyn Kelly made another in a series of racist comments last month, it wasn’t very surprising. However, her latest tirade about dressing up in blackface got me writing to NBC with historical facts based on a remarkable exhibit at the New-York Historical Society. It opened on September 6 and runs through to March 3, 2019 called Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow.

Why This Matters: Here are some of the facts, NBC and Megyn Kelly overlooked: Jim Crow was a character created by a white actor for minstrel shows in NYC. During the time of a devastating failed Reconstruction that produced the Ku Klux Klan, white performer Thomas Dartmouth, aka Daddy Rice did a song and dance Jump Jim Crow or Jim Crow in blackface.  

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Chicago Taps Into Black Art For West Side Rehabilitation

Chicago Taps Into Black Art For West Side Rehabilitation

By CultureBanx Team

  • “Knowledge and Wonder” estimated to sell for $10M - $15M

  • Black people make up nearly 44% of the Chicago’s West side population

CBx Vibe:Work Out” Chance the Rapper

Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel is betting that artwork by Kerry James Marshall can help the city revive its West side. He announced a library in the area where one of Marshall’s paintings resides, would sell the artwork estimated to go for $10 million - $15 million at Christie’s auction house.

Why This Matters: Marshall’s painting “Knowledge and Wonder,” was completed in 1995 for the Legler branch of the Chicago Public Library, he originally received a fee of $10,000 for the mural. The building is in the city’s poorer West side, where black people make up nearly 44% of the population, according to The New York Times.

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Drawing the Bag: Black Artists Elude American Museums

Drawing the Bag: Black Artists Elude American Museums

By Donitra Clemons

  • Less than 3% of museum acquisitions over the past decade have been of African American art

  • Only 4% museum curators are African American

CBx Vibe:Change” J. Cole

African American artist create some of the most compelling visual pieces of our generation, yet the fundamental shift in the way its valued is alarming. American museums continue to give these artist the short end of the stick, since less than three percent of their acquisitions over the past decade have been of works by black artists.

Why This Matters: Last spring, one of Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings sold for $110.5 million, becoming the most expensive work by an American artist ever sold at auction.This didn’t greatly move the needle in getting more museums to pick up other works by black artists. Since 2008, only 7.6% of all exhibitions at 30 prominent American museums have showcased art by African American artists, according to a joint investigation by In Other Wordsand artnet News.

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“Brick House” Sculpture Puts Black Female Strength on Display

“Brick House” Sculpture Puts Black Female Strength on Display

By CultureBanx Team

  • A 16-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman will grace NYC’s High Line

  • Simone Leigh’s art pieces sell for $40,000 to $125,000

CBx Vibe: “Brick House” Commodores

Manhattan’s elevated outdoor walkway, the High Line will open its first section solely dedicated to art. High Line announced its inaugural project for the Plinth will be a 16-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman by artist Simone Leigh. The art piece is titled “Brick House”, and is a reference to the 1977 disco-funk classic Motown hit by the Commodores.

Why This Matters: Leigh is beginning to garner worldwide attention for her work across sculpture, video and installation. She specializes on the intersection of African American feminism, as it relates to  political and economic environments. Her work now sells from anywhere between $40,000 to $125,000.

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