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Dumile Feni’s Sculpture, “The Prisoner”, Sells for R6 Million – Breaks all Previous Art Sales Records

The Beauty of the LineA sculpture by the late artist Dumile Feni has been sold for R6 million at the recent Cape Town Art Fair.

An anonymous buyer broke the record for the highest price fetched by an artwork when he bought the sculpture entitled The Prisoner, a figure of a nude black man with his hands held behind his back.

The lifestyle magazine Blaque reported that the work was sold by the Johannesburg-based art gallery MOMO where Feni’s work in exhibited.

For more on the art and creativity of Feni, have a look at Chabani Manganyi book The Beauty of the Line: The Life and Times of Dumile Feni.

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The work was sold by Jozi Gallery MOMO on behalf of the late artist’s estate. Art dealer, Monna Mokoena, who runs the only ivy league black owned gallery in the country said the sale ‘marked an slow emergence of new art buyers in the market’. Historically, the sale of work at this price level has been the exclusive preserve of big institutions, businesses and wealthy old white men.

The sale of the nude sculpture of a black male figure coincides with the launch, at the Cape Town Art Fair, of the Black Collectors Forum. It’s an organisation aimed at helping aspirant black art collectors to enter the game.

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