“Guitar,” by Felipe Jesus Consalvos, sold for $7,300
Many auctions saw significant pieces of museum-quality art, both in the realms traditionally considered fine art, and in self-taught art. Material Culture is quickly becoming a leader in the field of self-taught or “outsider” art; the auction house considers the bold, individual visions of artists whose chief training comes from within to be equal to those that come from ‘inside’ the establishment. Many pieces by renowned Nigerian self-taught artist Prince Twins Seven-Seven (1944-2011) were featured at auction during the year, including “The Dream of the Abiku Child,” which achieved $7,300 on May 5, and “The Spirits of My Reincarnation Brothers and Sisters,” which sold on October 14 for $6,700. Another African artist, Ghanaian Kwame Akoto (b. 1950), painting under the name “Almighty God,” had pieces in several sales, such as “Help Me I’m Divorced,” which sold on May 5 for $1,220, and on October 14, “Precious History,” which sold for $1,200.
Two drawings by self-taught American artist James Castle (1899-1977) did well at the inaugural auction; one, entitled “Labor Day,” sold for $2,500, while an untitled piece featuring six figures commanded $4,100. Cuban-American self-taught artist Felipe Jesus Consalvos (1891-1960) was shown to advantage in the same sale. His piece “Guitar,” his distinctive mixed-media collage applied to a full guitar, achieved $7,300, while another mixed-media collage, “Do Not Storm the System,” sold for $4,850. A piece entitled “Spanky and Dave Pitts Ice Capades 1964,” by another self-taught artist, American Justin McCarthy (1892-1977), sold for $2,000 on May 5.