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13

Niyi Olagunju

Baby Baga #4

Property Sold to Benefit The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos)

Niyi Olagunju

Niyi Olagunju

Baby Baga #4

Baby Baga #4

Niyi Olagunju

Nigerian

b.1981

Baby Baga #4


Executed in 2021

wood & chrome plated aluminum

44 by 26 by 17cm., 17¼ by 10¼ by 6¾in.

Scattered very light scratches in places, only visible on close inspections. Some white pinpoints to the wood in places, likely inherent. Some clear residue that fluoresces under UV light dotted around, also likely inherent.


The work appears to be in very good original condition.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Donated by the artist and TAFETA London

Olagunju's contemporary appropriation of traditional African sculptures continues his exploration of global trade and the "absolute commoditization of everything". His sculptures question the value system driving the continued growth in the sale of traditional African artefacts. The artist re-appropriates traditional African sculptures, bisecting them vertically and coating them in metals mined from the region from where they are originally sourced. His use of precious and semi-precious metals draws attention to the multiple relationships that can emerge from the exploitation of natural resources in Africa, and its impacts on people and their cultural legacies.


Baby Baga #4 has been created using Olangunji’s signature technique of bisecting an original artefact – in this case, a small wooden bust originating from the Baga peoples, a West African ethnic group. The artist then coats the exposed cross-section with aluminium, a metal widely mined in African regions. The resulting work raises powerful questions around perceived value; originally, this artefact would have been used for traditional functions but now, provenance and rarity dictate its price at auction. A visual transformation has taken place – but the glitzy surface is superficial.


Olangunji studied in Lagos and then moved to the UK, graduating from Oxford University in 2006. He has exhibited his work widely, internationally. Baby Baga #1 was selected as one of Yinka Shonibare’s picks of the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition 2021 and was illustrated on the front cover of the RA Magazine Autumn 2021 issue. Other significant shows have included Get Up, Stand Up, at Somerset House and a museum showing at the Vestfossen Kunstlabratorium, Oslo, both in 2019. Olagunju’s sculpture is represented in the permanent collection of the House of European History, Brussels. He lives in Lagos and New York.