Exotic, extraordinary, unexpected and unusual are just a few of the adjectives used to describe primitive and tribal art. With its roots in Africa, Oceania, Asia and South America, artifacts and objects have offered a window on the history and craftsmanship of primitive cultures for centuries.
Interest in tribal art is growing as the category enjoys increasing exposure. Cases in point: the growing prominence of the tribal art show, Parcours des Mondes, in Paris received over 100,000 visitors, while auction records were broken during the inaugural Tribal Art Week in New York last year. Attracting a young, international clientele (whose design aesthetic mixes tribal pieces with contemporary furnishings) along with collectors who specialize in specific categories, prices for everything from wooden shrine sculptures to glass beaded ceremonial aprons have been on the rise since 2000.
Tribal Art will find itself once again in the spotlight at the prestigious Brussels Art Fair (known as BRAFA) this month. Recognized as a must see destination for tribal collectors and aficionados, this year's guest cultural partner is the Royal Museum for Central Africa at Tervuren where its "Remarkable Collections" of African art, crafts and musical instruments will be on display. The popular show (attendance reached 48,000 last year) runs January 25th through February 2nd at the historical building Tour and Taxis in Brussels.
Photo credits: BRAFA