E. S. Tingatinga (Tanzanian, 1932 – 1972)
Untitled (African Bull Buffalo), between 1970 – 72
Signed ‘E. S. TINGATINGA’ (lower left)
Enamel on board
60 x 60 cm
Ksh 790,000 – 1,350,000
(US$) 7,000 – 12,000
Provenance: Private collection

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 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 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. Values are increasing as original works become more and more rare.