Painting a Hollow Canvas: The Plight of African Artists Amid C-19 

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The African art market has been on an exponential upward growth trajectory prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, but most recently is teetering on the brink of a precipice, thrusting many artists in a conundrum; the status quo, only to be likened to painting a hollow canvas. According to the Clare McAndrew’s report, ‘The Art Market 2020’,90% of art dealers had projected an increase in sales, heading into 2020, but the global pandemic has been diminishing this optimism and momentum. The latest Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, indicates that global art sales achieved a total of $64.1 billion in 2019, 5% decrease from the 67.4 billion of 2018.   The African art scene has long remained unseen, but the last five years have been profoundly fundamental in the growth of this budding industry. It has brought about a renaissance; crossing over a new frontier and gaining global recognition in the international art market. According to ArtTactic, a total of $25.3m, was generated in the first half of 2019, recording a 11.3% decrease, from a similar period in 2018, from international sales of African art, by Sotheby’s, Bonhams, Piasa, Christie’s, Strauss, ArtHouse Nigeria and Phillips; all globally renowned art auction houses.   African works have become subject to international demand, being displayed in the major art capitals of the world, such as New York, London, Paris and Venice. Sotheby’s turnover on its Modern & Contemporary African Art sale in April 2019, generated

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