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Primitivism Art of Anedu as Mistakes I Chose To Keep


While artists outside the formal training environment, most often, carry the burden of proving their worth by rendering portraitures in realism form, Edozie Anedu differs.

Apart from daring to go into their primitivism and highly stylised representational art, Anedu injects quite a depth of critical thematic contents into his strokes.

Quietly, his works on canvas and mixed media of discarded materials were shown in a solo titled, Mistakes I Chose to Keep, a few weeks ago, at a workstation space on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.


Anedu, his kind of work and venue of debut solo, have one thing in common —freshness.

Apart from showing as one of the 10 finalists at Next of Kin (2019) art competition and show organised by Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Lagos, Anedu’s art is really unfamiliar.

From post-Renaissance to contemporary era, artists have proven that it takes a rich oeuvre to master any form of art.


For primitivism art, which Anedu’s brushstrokes are immersed, it becomes more complex.

Two factors are obvious in his own situation: the artist is coming from a self-taught background and he is also fresh on the scene. His art is most likely to be viewed from suspicion of ‘escapism’ rather than a conscious and deliberate choice of expressionism.


However, in contextual and thematic narratives, Anedu’s art communicates a depth of critical contents through the conduit of subjectivity in visual expressionism. His style is as straight and as consistence with no eclectic textures, so suggest the displays of the exhibits.

The show had 18 new works, some of which have been described as “formerly discarded, reworked pieces” inspired by the exhibition’s central theme.


From a crowded figurative titled, Advent of the Wheel, to others such as, Self Portraits series and Longsuffering as well as Wildflower, an artist not in haste for adventurous strokes is obvious. Anedu’s consistency in his colour shades, lights and hues or sway to cubism shows a dedication to his art.

The show’s curator, Wunika Mukan, said her guest despite the fact that Anedu’s work is not known in Nigeria, “he has been making quite some impacts abroad, South Africa, specifically.”


In a curatorial note, she explained that each piece of Anedu’s paintings tells “a coming of age story – a journey of excitement, adjustments and hopeful rush to the future – while at the same time embracing moments of melancholy and memories of past people, places and things.”

The artist’s application of materials, perhaps, in the areas of bold colours excites the curator too. “Working primarily with oils on canvas and recyclable materials, Edozie employs an aggressive use of colour with ill-drawn figures to express emotion, initiate conversation and catch attention.”


On Anedu’s primitivism as a style, Mukan noted that the artist gets his strength from being accidental in creating the contents. “His childlike and sometimes aggressive strokes make room for accidents and give his paintings that unique, seemingly effortlessly haphazard appearance.”

Anedu was born and raised in Benin City. His style is described as focusing “on the human condition, socio-political ideologies and pop-culture.”


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