Africa’s rich artistic heritage has been gaining international recognition in recent years with a flourishing art market that superbly reflects the continent’s diverse talent and cultural depth.

These artists are making major strides globally, commanding high prices for their works.

Let’s delve into the world of African art to explore 5 artists whose works have raked in top dollar in auctions and galleries worldwide.

1. El Anatsui (Ghanaian)

Renowned for his monumental sculptures made from discarded metal bottle caps and other materials, El Anatsui’s works transcend boundaries, blending traditional African motifs with contemporary aesthetics. 

His masterpiece ‘Gravity Grace’ went for a record-breaking $1.5M at an auction elevating his status as the highest-priced African artist to date.

Artist: El Anatsui. Title: Recycled Dreams (Uniting the World with a Stitch, 2005












2. Yinka Shonibare CBE (British/Nigerian)

Blending African and European cultures, Shonibare explores the themes of colonialism, globalization, and identity. He is best known for his use of Dutch wax fabric, a symbol of African identity intertwined with colonial history.

Shonibare’s iconic piece ‘Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle’ sold for $905,000.

Artist: Yinka Shonibare. Title: Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle

3. William Kentridge (South African)

A leader in diverse artistic mediums including drawing, printmaking, and animation with charcoal sketches and animated videos as his signature.

His power piece ‘Procession’ achieved an overwhelming price of $1.5 million.

Artist: William Kentridge. Art: Procession

4. Ben Enwonwu (Nigeria)

Known as the father of modernism in Nigeria, his timeless representation of Nigerian beauty has received global acclaim.

After fading out, the coming back of ‘Tutu’ sparked international attention, going on to be auctioned for a surprising $1.6 million.

Artist: Ben Enwonwu. Art: Tutu






















5. Chéri Samba (Democratic Republic of Congo)

His vibrant paintings blend humor, satire, and social commentary, and use color and graphic imagery.

His adorable piece ‘J’aime La Couleur’ (I Love The Color) sold for $397,500.

Artist: Chéri Samba. Art: J’aime La Couleur