Object lessons

Object lessons: from a Rubik's Cube Mona Lisa to a Surrealist animal bone sculpture

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Our pick of highlights from the next week's auctions and fairs

Prince Gyasi's Fatherhood (2018). Nil Gallery at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Marrakech, 20-23 February .€8,000. Courtesy of the artist and Nil Gallery

Instead of expensive camera equipment, the 24-year-old Ghanaian artist Prince Gyasi uses an iPhone to shoot highly saturated photographs around his home city of Accra. These vivid images concentrate on the people of his local community, particularly its marginalised figures, and dwell on the overarching human themes of motherhood, childhood and, as here, fatherhood. Hugo Zeitoun, the co-founder of the Paris-based Nil Gallery, says Fatherhood is “representative of the Afro Pop movement that is emerging from western Africa now”, and Gyasi is one of a number of Ghanaian photographers who has disseminated his images and achieved global recognition via Instagram—he currently has around 98,300 followers. Gyasi also co-founded BoxedKids, an arts and education charity helping underprivileged children from Jamestown, Accra.

Remedios Varo's Homo Rodans (1959). Gallery Wendi Norris at ADAA’s The Art Show, New York, 27 February-1 March. $2.5m.

The only surviving three-dimensional work by the 20th-century female Surrealist artist Remedios Varo, this animal bone sculpture riffs on the mythical Ouroboros figure of a serpent eating its own tail. Varo created the work in connection with De Homo Rodans, a pseudoscientific text—also on offer alongside the sculpture—that she wrote under the pen name Halikcio von Fuhrängschmidt, postulating a new theory of human evolution based on this magical creature of her own creation.

Invader, Rubik Mona Lisa (2005). Urban Art Sale, Artcurial, Paris, 25 February. Estimate: €120,000-€150,000.

The world’s most famous enigmatic smile receives an 8-bit makeover, courtesy of the French urban artist Invader, in this work the Rubik Mona Lisa. Around 330 Rubik’s Cubes were used to create this work, the first in Invader’s Rubikcubism series, in which he recreates well-known Old Master works with the 1980s toy. His version of the Leonardo portrait is equally as mysterious: only from a distance can the viewer decipher the image of the Mona Lisa. Invader’s current auction record was made at an Artcurial sale last year, where his Vienna (2008) sold for $398,000.