Art Market

Aboudia’s Breakthrough Secondary-Market Year Continues

Kaylie Felsberg
Nov 5, 2021 7:36PM

The latest

October marked yet another eventful month for Aboudia’s secondary market. The Ivorian artist’s auction record was broken yet again at a Sotheby’s sale in London, when his sprawling mixed-media collage on canvas work Jeux d’Enfant (2012) sold for £201,600 ($277,342). The piece soared past its £45,000 ($61,906) high estimate and surpassed the artist’s previous record of HK$2.1 million (US$275,162) set by Untitled (Street Kids Series) (2014) just five days prior at a Hong Kong Sotheby’s sale. Aboudia is acclaimed for his graffiti-inspired works that often portray the children of his hometown, Abidjan, through explosive lines of color and layered collaged backgrounds. These most recent record-breaking auction results for works by the Ivorian artist affirm the strength and fierce competition surrounding his secondary market, which has exploded in the last year—all of Aboudia’s top 10 auction results have been set in 2021.

Key figures

  • The chart above shows Aboudia’s top auction results year over year, dating back to his secondary-market debut in 2013 when two of his frenetic oil on canvas works, Nigga (2011) and Children, more than doubled their low estimates to sell for £5,250 ($7,906) each at a Bonhams sale in London. The former work would resurface at another London Bonhams auction in 2018, fetching a total of £9,375 ($12,927).
  • Those two debut results were doubled in 2014 when the mixed-media piece I remember when all this was trees was up for auction at a Bonhams sale in London and sold for £9,375 ($15,814). A month prior to that auction, Aboudia received his first U.S. solo exhibition at Ethan Cohen Gallery in New York.
  • Aboudia’s secondary market really began to heat up in October 2020. That month, his 2018 canvas Le Petit Chien Rouge sold for £75,600 ($98,952) at a Sotheby’s sale, briefly setting a new auction record for the artist.
  • This rapid climb in demand inspired Christie’s to host a single-artist online sale dedicated to Aboudia this past March. The auction house sold all 22 works on paper and paintings by the artist and officially set the current six-figure benchmarks for his work. Two of Aboudia’s collaged canvases, La renaissance du Christ and Noutchy dans la rue (both 2020), achieved $187,500—more than 10 times their high estimate. That record held for only two weeks before Christie’s sold a dark-hued painting from 2013 for £162,500 ($222,938).
  • The rising demand for Aboudia’s collages at auction are largely in keeping with the primary market for his work. Last month at Frieze London, Jack Bell Gallery sold four new paintings by Aboudia to online buyers in Singapore and Hong Kong in the range of $80,000 to $150,000.


This recent auction frenzy is in line with collector demand for Aboudia’s work on Artsy. Interest in the artist’s work has gradually risen since 2014—the year his work first appeared on the platform—and demand is skyrocketing in 2021. Thus far this year, the number of collectors inquiring about his work on Artsy has already more than doubled last year’s peak. Two untitled works by Aboudia—one from 2013 and another from 2015—are currently up for auction in partnership with Rago/Wright, offering collectors an excellent opportunity to acquire a piece by the in-demand artist.

Explore more works by Aboudia.

Kaylie Felsberg
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019