Art Auction East Africa 2022 Lot 30 E. S. Tingatinga (Tanzanian, 1932 – 1972) Bat in a Tree, 1971

E. S. Tingatinga (Tanzanian, 1932 – 1972)
Bat in a Tree, 1971
Signed ‘E. S. TINGATINGA’ (lower left)
Enamel on board
62 x 61 cm
Ksh 800,000 – 1,400,000
(US$) 6,950 – 12,200
Provenance: private collection
Sold Ksh 1,761,000

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 forty. His impact on Tanzanian art however has been profound and his legacy has continued to gain momentum.

The artist initially developed his distinctive approach to creating paintings 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 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. Value continues to increase as original works become more and more rare.

This piece was bought by the current owner through Gallery Watatu from a family member in the late 1980s.