Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Auction: Bruce Palmwine women
By Ozolua Uhakheme

Ten years after the first organised arts auction in the country, the proprietor of Nimbus Art Gallery, Mr. Chike Nwagbogu, has explained why he organised the maiden art auction in Lagos in December 1999. In a chat with THE NATION he disclosed that he wanted a more democratic way of marketing and evaluating of the art without the subjectivity of one buyer or collector. He said the auction was intended to open the art market to a wider audience and maximize the value of the works of art.

"It was designed to take the art away from the rich and the famous. Interestingly, the art auction has opened the market beyond the borders thus raising the bar of the value," he said.

Nwagbogu noted that his fear of a seemingly shrinking purchasing power of the few collectors informed his decision to host the art auction, adding that it was also to serve as a way to cultivate fresh and younger collectors because the few older ones have other priorities to attend to other than art.

Reacting to whether he was fulfilled by the result of the auction, he said: "I just tried the project. I never set any agenda in terms of benefits because I don’t want to be disappointed at the end of the day if things did not work out fine. But above all, I was glad that Bruce Onobrakpeya’s painting, Palm wine Women was sold for 2million naira."

On the on-going repackaging of the Nimbus Art Centre, that has moved from Maitama Crescent to Raymond Njoku street in Ikoyi, Lagos Nwagbogu explained that there are lots of ways of expressing creativity beyond showing paintings in an art gallery. "Whereas we have thousands of ceramists in the county without patronage, we still import ceramic products from Europe.

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