Life is too short and resources too limited
to collect all the art that awakens the passion in us. The
problem with collecting art is that there is no end to the
quest. If one collects for the aesthetic of art, then the
acquisitions are driven by emotion, by the heart. If one
collects art for the investment potential, then the
acquisitions are more likely rationalized, and it is easier to
part with pieces if they can return a good yield. Both are
perfectly valid approaches to collecting art, but it is the
heart that has the most problem with parting, even if it makes
When the founders of Africa Rising first
started to collect African contemporary and tribal art twenty
years ago, their collection slowly grew to the point of
impracticality. Space became a constraining factor, but their
interest in the art grew with each trip to the continent. It
was on one of these trips that the founders fell in love with
the stone art of Zimbabwe, and they went on a shopping spree
in search of the perfect piece to take home with them. But
their enthusiasm was quickly dampened by the high cost of
shipping and the reliance on third parties for crating and
transport, typically equaling or exceeding the cost of the art
itself. In addition, this greatly restricted the potential supply to a
few up-market galleries, who naturally focus on the "master"
sculptors as they can command the highest prices.
The founders decided then and there to buy all the pieces they had found and liked,
and to consolidate as one shipment. At the very least, they
had acquired a collection for themselves, and kept the cost of
packing and shipping to a fraction of the art's value.
However, it also compounded their original problem - where to
put it all. Something would have to be sold.
Africa Rising was thus borne out of this
passion for the art of the continent, and out of the somewhat
selfishly inspired motivation to continue to acquire and
enjoy, albeit briefly, interesting and beautiful pieces. As a
result, the art in this virtual gallery reflects the personal
taste and interests of the founders, and it is their hope that
Africa Rising will be a means for like-minded collectors to
acquire pieces without the hassle, risks, and costs associated
with purchasing abroad while on holiday.
Africa Rising, LLC is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
The founders, Andrew Wilson and Giannella Alvarez,
travel regularly to Africa, constantly updating the gallery's
inventory. Where possible and practicable, they purchase
directly from the artists. In the case of the artifacts, they
restrict themselves to acquiring mostly from collections and
every piece is carefully selected for authenticity, aesthetic
value, and uniqueness.