A Turning Tide

Tara Loader Wilkinson, Billionaire, October 3, 2022

'Ed Cross was one of the first galleries to offer solely contemporary African art, opening his eponymous space in 2009. He lived and worked in Kenya as an artist himself and became fascinated with the art scene. “The quality of the artists; they were cultural leaders and inspiring young people. None of them were being taken seriously by the West, which troubled me.” 


He returned to London in 2009 and began selling art from African and the diaspora through the Ed Cross Gallery. Some of his top young artists from the diaspora include Anya Paintsil, Pabi Daniel and Abe Odedina; recently, business has been great. Over the last two years turnover has doubled every year. “There has been a sea change in perception,” he says, “people have woken up to the amazing work coming out of the continent. Also with the Black Lives Matter movement, institutions have been mandated to make sure their collections reflect diversity, which helps.”'