The contemporary art scene of Africa is characterized by a dynamic list of creators, who interpret and capture the political challenges, rich traditions and diverse beauty of the African continent.

African art has an irresistible appeal to art enthusiasts who appreciate art. Africa has produced some of the best contemporary artists in the world from Laolu Senbanjo’s unique Afromysterics to Wasswa Donalds’ sculpting. In this article, we will be looking at some of the best African contemporary artists.

1. Laolu Senbanjo( Nigeria)

The multi-talented visual artist, singer/songwriter, musician and former human-rights attorney is topping this list as number one. After getting his degree from law school in 2005, he worked as a human-rights attorney for 5 years before quitting his job in 2010 to fully pursue his career in the arts. He moved to New York and made a living by customizing clothes, musical instruments, shoes and basically anything he could find. Everything was his canvas. Laolu rose to fame after getting an email from Beyonce, offering him a job to paint on one of her music videos, “sorry” from the “lemonade” album that was released in 2016. Some of his other prominent work includes, his work with Nike as “Master of Air” where he designed limited edition Nike sneakers, he painted Serena Williams on the cover of “Essence” magazine, he has worked with different musical artists like Alicia Keys, Swiss Beatz, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen, Alek Wek, and Danielle Brooks.

2. Wasswa Donald (Uganda)

Wasswa Donald studied sculpture at Kyambogo University, Uganda. Inspired by natural events, Wasswa’s work has evolved from just sculpting to encompass other art mediums like drawing, painting, photography, and performance. According to an article published by, Wasswa studies the process of transformation with his primary focus on humans versus a given environment, social interactions, and the nature of communication involved. He was the recipient of the merit award in the Absa L’Atelier competition in 2016. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Uganda and abroad, including Down in Napak, Afriart Gallery, Kampala 2020-21, Zikunta, Kampala, 2016.

3. Aida Muluneh (Ethiopia)

Aida Muluneh is a commercial photographer as well as an artist. After graduating college, Aida worked as a photojournalist, a career that helped to further her fine art practice. Wearing face paint and theatrical garments, Muluneh’s female subjects stand against bold, graphic backdrops as they create daily life and performances of gender and identity in her home city, Addis Ababa. Aida Muluneh’s work has been exhibited in Addis Ababa, New York, Chicago and many other cities. Her work belongs in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture, and the National Gallery of Victoria, among others.

4. Ibrahim Mahama (Ghana)

According to an article published by,” Ibrahim Mahama uses the transformation of materials to explore themes of commodity, migration, globalisation and economic exchange”. He makes use of commonly found items in urban areas like wood remnants and jute sacks to create his art, giving them new meaning. He also uses specific items like shoemaker boxes, ambulance stretchers dating from the second world. His work has appeared in numerous international exhibitions including NIRIN, 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020); tomorrow, there will be more of us, Stellenbosch Triennale (2020); Future Genealogies, Tales From The Equatorial Line, 6th Lubumbashi Biennale, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2019); Parliament of Ghosts.

Ibrahim Mahama has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Sculpture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

5. Peju Alatise (Nigeria)

Born in 1975, Peju Alatise is an Architecture degree holder, writer, poet and artist. Her work was exhibited at Venice Biennale’s 57th edition, themed Viva Arte Viva (Long Live Art). Alatise, along with two other Nigerian artists were the first Nigerians to appear at the art exhibition. Her work was a group of life-size figures based on the life of a servant girl. Alatise received the 2017 FNB Art Prize. Alatise’s 2011 work titled “Ascension” was sold at N4.4 million in Nigeria’s Art Auction, this made her work the best priced among emerging artists.

In conclusion

African art is as diverse as Africa itself. African art is growing every day and more contemporary artists are creating beautiful pieces that will take the world by storm.

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