TOP 5 YOUNG VISUAL ARTISTS FROM NIGERIA
It is no secret that Nigeria is a home of so many talents, especially visual arts. Nigerian citizens are bold in creating arts that may be controversial yet speaks to the souls. Their art is known to speak volumes even when the artist is quiet and indifferent.
In this article, we bring you the top 5 contemporary young Visual Artists from Nigeria. More so, their works have been recognized internationally.
If you are a lover of visual arts, why don’t you come on this journey with us, to uncover the top young visual artists in Nigeria?
5. MARCELLINA AKPOJOTOR
Marcellina was born in 1989 to a visual artist father in Lagos. Growing up, she apprenticed at her father’s shop, focussing on drawing, stencilling, designing, writing, and calligraphy work. She found so much joy in the arts. So, she decided to pursue it at the Lagos State Polytechnic by specifically studying Art and Industrial Design.
Marcellina Akpojotor drifts towards issues surrounding femininity, women empowerment in contemporary Nigerian society, societal and personal identity which is embedded in her works.
This 32-year-old artist produces powerful images and captures the uncompromising strength of the complex journey towards women empowerment and gender equality. This mission Marcellina Akpojotor achieves by using discarded pieces of Ankara or African prints.
A 2015 work of Marcellina’s, Tobi, was used as the cover image for the reprint of the novel Jagua Nana, which was first published in 1961 by Nigerian author Cyprian Ekwensi.
Marcellina has had several exhibitions in Switzerland, Ohio, and her home country Nigeria.
But in 2018, she had her first solo art She Was Not Dreaming at the Rele Gallery. She has since worked on the FNB Art Joburg Fair 2019 in South Africa, the 2020 edition of the LA Art Show in the United States, and Art Dubai 2020.
4. DENNIS OSADEBE
If there is anything that differentiates Dennis Osadebe from the other top young visual artists from Nigeria, it is his passion towards rebranding “African Art” to something that is limitless and reflects the transformation of the world.
Dennis Osadebe was born in 1991 and attended the University of London where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He went on for a Master of Science degree from the University of Warwick, Coventry.
Dennis started his career and faced massive hurdles yet he has been able to climb up to become one of the top young visual artists from Nigeria. With his background in science and no background in traditional arts, Dennis had difficulties breaking through museum and gallery environments.
However, he found a way to make that hurdle work in his favour. His works are based on empowerment in every aspect of life. Viewers can relate to Dennis’s arts and encourage themselves.
His works thankfully found success as he has had exhibitions such as the Bright Generation at Galerie Lisa Wang in Paris, Avenue des Arts in Los Angeles, South African Investec Cape Town (Art Fair), and Spectacular Now (Duo Show) at Nairobi.
3. YADICHINMA UKOHA-KALU
This is one of the top young visual artists from Nigeria whose work is said to be in constant evolution as she is inspired by the theme of change.
Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu who was born in 1995 is an experimental artist that uses varied mediums like digital media, painting, photography, film, and sculpture to process documentation and research. This she hopes will be her invented tools to create and archive her works in a Nigerian context.
She discloses that the motivation and futuristic elements showcased in her work comes from her high level of curiosity. This explanation was evident in her work, Thought Lines which was launched in 2017.
Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu had a maiden group show at the 2017 Stevenson Cape Town show in South Africa where they presented A Painting today.
This artist has had showings locally and Internationally and has been nominated multiple times including a showing at the Gallerie Apartment, Paris in 2017.
2. KEN NWADIOGBU
Ken is one of the top young visual artists that bases his work on a fusion that is primarily centred around hyper-realism and contemporary art. This method he calls Contempo realism.
Nwadiogbu attended the University of Lagos, where he studied Civil and Environmental Engineering which had nothing to do with art. His parents were very proud and supportive of this line of profession. Suddenly, Ken found a new love. Art.
He started creating arts that his small circle of friends couldn’t stop gushing over. Taking it as an encouragement, he birthed the brand, KenArt.
Ken got named as one of the most “Outstanding Personalities of 2019” and that was just the beginning of Fame for him.
The Nigerian-born multidisciplinary artist has created globally recognized works such as Packages in Brown Skin, The Value of Nothing series, and The King’s Diary. He has also been awarded by The Future Awards Africa.
Ayobola is currently at the University of Johannesburg getting her PhD in Art and Design. Her artistic works are themed with Nigerian mythology, feminism and its history, power dynamics, and prejudice against women. She is a force to be reckoned with in terms of feminism which she voices through her works by using a simple method called Paper Quilling.
Ayobola is one of the top young visual artists from Nigeria that has loved art since she was a child and has had a supportive family through her journey. She was born in 1993 in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied Graphic Design at the University of Lagos. By 2016, she got her Master’s in the same field. She then secured a job as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Creative Arts at the University of Lagos before deciding to further her education in South Africa.
Ayobola Kekere-Ekun won a prize for Creativity from The Future Awards Africa in 2018. She also won a 5,000 dollars grant from Alicia Keys which founded Ayobola’s Resilient Lines at the Rele Art Gallery in Lagos.
In all, she has it, she shows it and she has earned the top spot on this list of the top 5 young visual artists from Nigeria.
An art can cost over a million dollars. Over the centuries, even those with just portraits are deemed rich. How much more the artist who uses his creativity to translate his thoughts of the world.
These top 5 Visual Artists from Nigeria are expressing their views in so many ways with a common language, art. Whether by using discarded Ankara or paper quilling, they have set Nigeria on the path to becoming a country known for art.
To sum it up, younger people look up to these top young visual artists from Nigeria and they are reshaping the future of Africa, one successful art after the other.
Know any of these people? Please share your comments with us. We love to read from you. Please don’t forget to share this article with your friends and relatives.
If you are interested in positive African stories projecting the continent, then please click here to join our WhatsApp group now.
Download our apps now for easier access to recent news and articles!