Monday, May 08, 2006

Anthony Wakaba Mutheki - "Africa's Van Gogh"

Anthony Wakaba Muthenki
It used to be that you had to die a poor and relatively unknown artist before your art would be noticed. As attractive as this business plan sounds, Anthony Wakaba Mutheki has decided to do it differnt and it does not involve death.

He used to sell his works for as little as a $1 apiece. Mutheki, a Kenyan-born artist, has become one of Africa's hottest young talents. His work has increased from $1.00 to as high as $12,000. And collectors are starting to line up. (All without ebay!)

"You can see the hallmarks of a great artist in his work," said South African art critic Alex Sudheim. "It's like Van Gogh -- Van Gogh didn't go to art school, he just had this powerful urge to create through painting and that is what Anthony does, he just does it his own way."

He developed his skill on the streets not in some art academy. After spending five years on the streets or sleeping in a shelter in South Afarica he was discovered by a gallery owner. The gallery owner was taken back by his originality and this incredible story started.

"There is a very strong energy in his pieces," said Craig Mark, who spotted Mutheki eight years ago. "His work is totally unique and the fact that he's not trained allows him to do what he wants. If he wants to stick a piece of fabric onto a canvas then paint over it then he will."

You have to check this out.