African art has its roots in a time long before written history. 6000-year-old sculptures are preserved in the Sahara Desert in Niger by African rock art. The earliest sculptures that have been found date back to 500 BCE and are from the Nok civilisation of Nigeria. African art was heavily influenced by Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the cultural arts of the western tribes, objects from ancient Egypt, and regional crafts from the south. The art frequently represented the wealth of the surrounding nature through abstract representations of animals, plants, or natural patterns and shapes.
A fantastic and vibrant modern art culture exists throughout Africa. Up until recently, this was tragically understudied because academics and art buyers focused more on "traditional" African arts. Zerihuna Yetmgeta, Olu Oguibe, Lubaina Himid, and Bill Bidjocka are notable contemporary artists. Johannesburg, South Africa, and Dakar, Senegal, both host biennials of art. The works of many modern African painters can be found in museum collections and can fetch significant prices at art auctions. Despite this, many contemporary African artists frequently struggle to find a market for their creations. Contemporary African art frequently draws extensively on its traditional forebears. Ironically, Westerners perceive this concentration on abstraction as a copy of European and American cubist and totemic artists like Picasso and Matisse
African art is functional. It serves a purpose, bringing healing and spreading positivity.
credits: Petra Udeh/ToluRock