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ARTSPLIT Hosts Alatishe, Barber’s Iconic Works at January Auctions

Co-founder, ARTSPLIT, Onyinye Anyaegbu

ARTSPLIT, the pioneering African art trading platform, is hosting two iconic works by Nigerian artists, Peju Alatise and Abayomi Barber, at its ongoing January auctions .

Peju Alatise

See Me I (2015) by Peju Alatise and Untitled (1978) by Abayomi Barber, are presently featuring at the January edition of ARTSPLIT’s monthly auctions which started on January 2, running through January 25. Both works are available for Split and Lease auction.

See Me I by Peju Alatise has been exhibited and sold in auction at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African Arts, London to a private collector in 2021.

Peju Alatise is an interdisciplinary artist, architect, poet, and author of two novels, based in Lagos, Nigeria. She started her career as an architect while running a private art studio. She is a leading voice in contemporary art on the African continent. Her practice is relentlessly experimental and labor-intensive. She produces works across various mediums, techniques, and materials, including but not limited to paintings, film, installations, and sculptures. Her work is also pointedly political, often asking damning questions, and provoking reflections about the times, and the state of affairs at home and abroad. Alatise’s work has, in the past, explored exploitative labor practices in Nigeria, child rights with a focus on young girls, state-sanctioned violence against citizens, migration, and the policies that ensure that many die at sea, seeking a better life.

Alatise produces through the lens of spirituality, and Yoruba cosmology, leaning into ancient storytelling traditions and crafting alternative social imageries. In 2017, Alatise was selected as one of the exhibiting artists at Nigeria’s debut pavilion at the Venice Art Biennial. In 2020, Alatise was selected as an exhibiting artist for the Venice Architecture Biennale by curator, Hashim Sarkis. Alatise is a fellow at the National Museum of African Art, and part of the Smithsonian Institute.

Abayomi Adebayo Barber (23 October 1928 – 26 December 2021) was a Nigerian contemporary artist and an important modern art figure in Nigeria who created an informal afro-surrealist school of art, known as the Abayomi Barber School of Art in Lagos, Nigeria. Barber is best known for the application of naturalism and surrealism methods in his artworks. Some of his signature works include life-sized busts of former Nigerian president, Murtala Mohammed and the former Oba of Ile-Ife, Adesoji Aderemi, and an oil painting of Shehu Shagari.

The Abayomi Barber School of Art debunked the idea of tagging art as “African”, because of the demeaning expectation of Europeans. The school also practiced art as being the universality of individual artists’ experiences. Barber felt that artists of his time produced art that supported Western misconceptions. He, therefore, positioned his artistic ideologies against Western perceptions of African authenticity as ‘primitive’, ‘crude’, and ‘unskilled’. Just like the father of Nigerian modernism, Aina Onabolu, Barber’s art is often viewed as not exuding Africanness.

Abayomi Barber, Oil on board, 1978

The ARTSPLIT app allows users to own fractions of prominent African artworks, also known as “Splits,” and keep or sell them on the app at the end of the Split Auction.” The Splits allow multiple people to co-own a single iconic piece of art, which no other art platform currently does. Users can also participate in a ‘Lease Auction’ on the app to win physical custody of these co-owned artworks for a set period.

This January auction follows the massive success of ARTSPLIT’s Arts Auction and launch in Ghana in December 2022. In keeping with its vision to create better access and value for both emerging African artists and already established masters, the auction bridged generations by featuring Isshaq Ismail, Koffi Agorsor and Ablade Glover.

ARTSPLIT is an art trading company driven by the shared goal of enhancing the investment status of African art by allowing users to co-own rare and valuable artworks on a platform that guarantees price discovery and market liquidity.

Its mission is to position African art and artists as the preferred alternative investment choice by democratising access to iconic African art alongside developing the African art ecosystem through technology and co-ownership. ARTSPLIT believes that, in this way, it can make wealth accessible through alternative investments.

The platform (ARTSPLIT mobile app) allows its users to own fractions, also known as “Splits,” of prominent African artworks on the app and in the “Split Auction”, where they can either keep or sell in its secondary market to other users for profit. These “Splits” (fractions) enable multiple individuals to co-own a single iconic piece of art on the platform. Following the Split Auction, users on the app can also bid to win physical custody of these co-owned artworks for a set period via the “Lease Auction.” And this cycle is repeated on the app as far as multiple individuals own splits of that artwork.