Lot 15 Edward Saidi Tingatinga (Tanzanian, 1932–72) Untitled (Hunter with Bird), circa 1968–72, at Art Auction East Africa 2019

Edward Saidi Tingatinga (Tanzanian, 1932–72)
Untitled (Hunter with Bird), circa 1968–72
Signed ‘E. S. TINGATINGA’ (lower middle)
Enamel paint on board
61.2 x 61.4 cm

Ksh 600,000–940,000
(US$ 5,500–8,500)
Sold Ksh 645,700

Provenance: private collection, acquired by the current owner from Gallery Watatu

Edward Saidi Tingatinga’s art career lasted only four years from 1968–72; cut tragically short when he was shot dead at the age of 40. His impact on Tanzanian art however has been profound and his legacy has continued to build momentum.

The artist developed his distinctive approach to creating paintings initially out of necessity to make ends meet, finding that he could use enamel bicycle paint on ceiling board and sell his work inexpensively. He displayed these pieces in stores across Dar es Salaam and many expatriates who lived in the area noticed his unique style of painting and began to collect his work. As his success grew, Tingatinga hired and trained close friends and family, firstly helping him to prepare boards, and later guiding them to make their own paintings.

The Tingatinga style has now become a large industry in Tanzania, with high demand from local and international buyers, but few E.S. Tingatinga originals come on the market.
As with most of Tingatinga’s paintings, because of its age and base-medium, this painting shows signs of wear and tear. There is an 8 cm tear on the lower centre of the board but the colour remains vibrant.