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Twins Seven Seven

The polititians that fly away with our money, Nigeria, 1989

Twins Seven-Seven, actually Prince Taiwo Olaniyi, is Nigeria's most famous artist. The supposed sole survivor of seven pairs of twins (hence his last name) was also a dancer, actor and musician. His paintings, obsessed with detail, spread out the fantastic world of Yoruba mythology with its people, spirits, animals and hybrid creatures on fabrics and plywood.

This work is one of the rare works in which the all-round artist takes up a political theme: he alludes to the corrupt civilian government of Nigerian President Shehu Shagari (1979-1983).


Malangatana Valente Ngwenya

Lagos, Mozambique, 1977

Malangatana, born in southern Mozambique in 1936, found work as a ball boy in a tennis club in Maputo after leaving the missionary school. A club member provided him with painting supplies and helped him sell his paintings. At 25, Malangatana   had his first solo show. His poems have also been published. In 1963 the artist was imprisoned for 18 months by the Portuguese secret police (PIDE) as a member of the Mozambican Liberation Front FRELIMO. In 1971,  er received a grant from the Gulbenkian Foundation. After Mozambique's independence   he was elected a FRELIMO MP in 1990. His works   revolve around political events, Portuguese colonialism until independence in 1975, the anti-colonial struggle, civil war themes and the hardships of life, as well as his prison stay. Malangatana died in Portugal in 2011.



Dr John Andrea, Tanzania, 1962

A naturopath's billboard lists 46 diseases in Kiswahili that the doctor promises to cure. The collector discovered the slightly weathered canvas in Tanzania. The healer dresses formally with a tie and jacket.


Alade Glover

Market, Uganda, 1993

Trained as a teacher in Ghana, Ablade Glover won art scholarships at the Central School of Art and Design in London and at the University of Newcastle. He then earned his doctorate in Ohio and made a name for himself on the international art scene as an artist and educator. With a brush, spatula (a tip from his professor at Newcastle University) and thickly applied pigments in warm tones, he depicts busy markets, colorfully dressed crowds and the dynamics of African metropolises.


John Muafangejo

Waterfall, Namibia, 1974

John Muafangejo was a humble cattle herder in northern Namibia. He became known for black and white woodcuts and linocuts that tell the story of his people. The printmaker carves his hope for a better future into the cheap material and, during the South African apartheid regime, becomes one of the few recognized black artists whose works were even shown at MoMA, New York. The work "Waterfall" is one of his few oil paintings.


Sane Wadu

Born Without Freedom, Kenya, 1980s

The autodidact from Kenya is considered one of the most important expressionists in East Africa. In his large-format oil paintings, he takes up social and political themes. He was supported by Ruth Schaffer, former director of Gallery Watatu in Nairobi. In the 1990s, Wadu co-founded the Ngecha Artists' Association with Eunice Wadu, Wanyu Brush and Chain Muhandi. Together with his wife and artist colleague Eunice Wadu, he supports young artists with workshops in their studio in Naivasha. In 2022, the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI) dedicated a retrospective to him.



Cry Ethiopia, Kenya, 1992

Bertiers, actually Joseph Pius Mbatia, gave himself the French name to appear more serious to his customers. In dense paintings, the Kenyan illustrates sometimes chaotic city scenes - a wedding drama or a women's demonstration with bludgeoning police in Nairobi. For the collector, his work “Cry Ethiopia” is linked to a personal experience: in 1991, during the fighting against the dictatorship of Mengistu Mariam, an ammunition depot exploded in the middle of Addis Ababa. The cameraman and head of the television agency Visnews Mohamed Amin was too close and lost his left arm to shrapnel. Gunter Péus, also on site as a journalist, was able to obtain first medical aid.


Jak Katerikawe

No cow no wife, Uganda, 1970s

Jak Katarikawe was a herdsman, vegetable seller, gardener and dental assistant in Uganda. Encouraged by the literature professor David Cook, for whom he worked as a chauffeur, he attended evening courses in painting at Makerere University. He later fled to Nairobi from the dictatorship of Idi Amin (1971-1979). His delicately colored paintings depict dreamlike scenes such as a gathering of elephants and dancing cows, but also political events such as a hijacking of an airplane. This is a rare self-portrait by the artist, who gained international recognition for his sensitive pastel painting style.


Tibet Terffa

Strong eye on Preservation Impact of the Walls, Ethiopia, 1988

Tibebe Terffa is one of the most famous Ethiopian artists. He studied art history, graphic design, calligraphy and free painting in Addis Ababa. A frequent motif is the 16th-century wall that surrounds his hometown of Harar. In his acrylic paintings, he condenses the hustle and bustle of the market within the medieval walls in a geometric-abstract style of painting.

Tibebe Terffa-Strong-eye-on-Preservation-Impact-of-the-Walls-Ethiopia-1988

Gebre Kristos Desta

Untitled (motorcyclists), Ethiopia, 1973

Gebre Kristos Desta received his artistic training, which he completed with distinction, at the Werkkunstschule in Cologne, where he had his first exhibition in 1962. He later taught as a lecturer at the art school in Addis Ababa before going back to Germany and then to the USA in exile in 1978, depressed by the dictatorial Mengistu regime. Desta is considered a pioneer of non-figurative painting in Ethiopia.

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