At the just concluded West African premier art fair on 4th November, ART X Lagos, one of Ben Enwonwu’s most notable works, ‘Princess Tutu’ made an appearance for two days. Also known as “African Mona Lisa”, this was the first time the painting has been seen in Nigeria since the 1970s.
Each July 14 marks the commemoration of the birth of Benedict Chukwuka Enwonwu (popularly known as Ben Enwonwu), one of Africa’s most influential and revolutionary artists in history. In this vein, we took a look into the life of Ben Enwonwu, beyond that of an artist, whose works are highly valued and priced in the art market.
Ben Enwonwu was born in Onitsha Nigeria in 1921. His father was a technician and a traditional sculptor, who made staffs, stools and decorative ornaments. Upon his father’s passing, Enwonwu inherited his father’s tools which he used to make sculptural works of his own, his skills improving by the day.
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