“The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it”
George H. T. Kimble, from the book Inside Africa
Established in 1999, Inside African Art is the Original African Paintings Website
Since the inception of this website in 1999, Inside African Art has been devoted to the promotion, exposure and marketing the talents of African artists. We showcase their skills while providing them with an alternative income. From you to the artists - via this website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because I lived in East Africa for 20 years, I know of only one way to buy anything – the African way, by bartering – no fixed prices! I came up with this idea and incorporated it into my website in 1999, as a great way to engage the audience, as well as have you actually think about the value of the paintings – to yourself, as well as the artists who created them. We all look at art differently! Read more about 'Making an Offer'.
Well, we're no longer based in Nairobi, Kenya. Me and my people recently moved to just outside of Orlando, FL, USA. The paintings you see on this website are here with us. On confirmation of payment I zip them over to the post office, usually the next business day, and they are on their way to you - wherever you are. I've shipped over 4,000 paintings to practically every country on the planet and (knock on wood), have yet to lose even one painting.
My family and I travel quite a bit to and from Kenya to visit family and friends. Every trip we take is also a business venture as our days are filled with visiting with artists, catching up, drinking tea (or a beer), and exploring their latest artistic creations. By the end of the day, I have a some fantastic paintings and the artists have some some funds to put food on the table of their family, pay for school and medical fees, and ensure there's a roof over their heads. Some of the artists on this website I've known for more than 25 years! In that time some of the artists have unfortunately passed away (Shiundu, Thairu, Mbugua, Kolii Paul), while others have thrived and continue to nurture their passion. It is our mission to continue to support these artists through it all, and as their skills evolve.
Absolutely! Since I am in touch with many of the artists frequently, I can request a custom painting per your specifications. Artists like N'gan'ga Ndeveni, Patrick Kinuthia and Martin Bulinya specialize in this type of thing and have fulfilled many special orders. As well, Yeb can create just about anything from a photo, especially incredible portraits in silk thread. It never hurts to inquire - you never know! Go to each of their pages to see an example!
Paintings Representing All Genres
There's no painting style as vibrant and dynamic as a TingaTinga painting. Painted with high-gloss oils usually used on bicycles, TingaTinga paintings are bold and vivid, reflecting both the artists and life in Tanzania. We are overflowing with TingaTinga paintings, with over 100 in stock. Check them out!
Art reflects culture, but it also can reflect emotion! If someone asked you to paint a picture of say, joy, how would you even begin? Characterized Maasai women dancing without inhibition to the beat of music only they can hear. The paintings of prolific artist Martin Bulinya reflect true joy as well as many other emotions. Have a look!
There is no more challenging media to paint with than watercolors. Staining, washing, masking - so many techniques. And then there is the blending of colors - and contending with white - the total lack of color. Premier artist Joseph Thiongo is a master, and stands as probably the most skilled watercolor artist today. See Thiongo's paintings...
A test of observation and painting prowess, it's difficult not to consider realistic wildlife painting a true challenge. Spending days in the Maasai Mara merely to observe and sketch in an effort to refine their skills. Oil painting artist like Joel Ngoko and acrylic artist Wycliffe Ndwiga are some of the best.