I met a man recently. He’d just turned 80. A nice, urbane man. He’d recently retired and was immensely wealthy. He seemed to have everything. He was healthy, wealthy and at peace with life. We got talking about, amongst other things, art and he told me he’d started life as an artist.
A while back, I got an artwork by Muraina Oyelami. Typical Muraina piece – three women, done in his sombre, multi-layered style. It seemed like an old artwork – slightly damaged at the edges but nothing serious.
Early African art seems to have been functional, either serving as religious symbols or decorations in the King’s palace.With the introduction of European style contemporary art, Nigerians started to experiment with art for art ‘s sake.