Duende Art Projects was founded in Antwerp, Belgium in 2021 by Bruno Claessens, previously the European director of the African art department at Christie’s Paris. A passionate art expert with 15 years of ample experience in the African art market, Claessens has published four books on classical African art: Ere Ibeji (2013), Baule Monkeys (2016), UNÛ (2021) & Shared Passion (2023). Throughout his career, he gained a profound knowledge of art of the African continent, both classical and contemporary, and has developed a great network of collectors, curators, and scholars as well as strong institutional ties.  


Duende Art Projects’ ambition is to inspire people by sharing our profound passion for the art of the African continent. Our purpose is to strengthen Africa’s visibility and significance within the global and diverse art world through a strong digital presence and frequent curated exhibitions on unique locations. The gallery wishes to open up the western-dominated perspective in the art world, and offers a well-rounded and fresh take on African art, both classical and contemporary. Establishing strategic collaborations with other galleries and institutions worldwide, it wishes to create opportunities to support and promote art and artists from the African continent. 


Duende is a Spanish word that is difficult to translate; it is a concept related to flamenco, referring to a magical moment of inspiration and genius. It is the heightened state of emotion when encountering a moving work of art, a sudden experience that can’t be captured, a goosebumps moment. While Spanish in origin, the word has an African ring to it - indeed it is a universal concept, and indicative of the gallery’s ambitions. Duende Art Projects goes beyond labels and reveals the art’s multiplicity of layers. Duende Art Projects’ values are more than just words. We live our values and believe that galleries with a strong culture and a higher goal do better. Our values are to be genuine, personal, responsible and open-minded. We pursue growth and learning, embrace and drive change through innovation, are passionate and determined, and aim to create both inspirational as joyous moments while offering premium quality artworks.