‘The artwork celebrates the intricate layers of female experiences and transformations, resonating with the museum’s mission to reclaim narratives and celebrate West African heritage. The presence of the macaw serves as a captivating symbol, embodying not just freedom, but also a profound connection between the human spirit and the celestial realm. In its evocative depiction, this artwork encapsulates a powerful narrative of unity, liberation, and spiritual resonance, making it a powerful addition to the MOWAA fundraising auction.’
– STEFANIA TEJADA
Christie’s and the Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) in Nigeria are collaborating to raise funds for MOWAA and its initiatives to create a cultural ecosystem in Benin City, based on the art of the past, present and future. A number of artists have generously agreed to donate original works of art to the auction, including Yinka Shonibare, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Lakwena Maciver and Victor Ehikhamenor. Proceeds from the sale of the works will go towards MOWAA initiatives including the presentation of the Nigeria Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, 2024—commissioned by the Governor of Edo State and also curated by Aindrea Emelife—and the 20-acre Creative Campus, including the Rainforest Gallery. Designed by the Dakar-based architecture firm Worofila, the Rainforest Gallery will be dedicated to showcasing Modern and Contemporary art, as well as historic exhibitions.
Born in Tuluá, Colombia in 1990, Stefania Tejada is celebrated for her luxuriously verdant canvases. In a figurative, vibrant style that pays homage to magic realism, Tejada composes female subjects within fantastical environments. Her women are arresting, often reciprocating the viewers’ gaze and drawing them in to their dense, jungle-like pictorial space. Brimming with profusions of palm and banana leaves, colourful fruits, birds and nautilus shells, Tejada’s exotic scenes conjure vivid memories of her native landscape. Inspired by the strength and resilience of Colombian women and the warrior female archetype honoured by Latin American culture, Tejada reflects on the significance of her work: ‘It’s about overcoming an experience, an emotion, an unwanted and violent touch. My work is about the experience of being a woman’. Delighting in surface and colour, the artist cites Henri Rousseau, Hilma af Klint, and Paul Gauguin as influences.
Tejeda completed a degree in Fashion Design from LaSalle College in Bogotá, before moving to Mexico to study Photography and Visual Merchandising. Her love of textiles and pattern is evident in her work today and has led to the artist’s collaborations with esteemed global fashion brands including Cartier, Nike, Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, and Adidas. Her work has been exhibited internationally in solo shows including the recent The Almighty Feminine at Galerie Virginie Louvet, Paris (2022), Nocturnal Gods at The Artistellar, London (2021), and Territorial Beings at Maison Kitsuné, Paris (2021). She lives and works in Paris, and is represented by MTArt Agency.