Young Contemporary Artists On Our Radar
They say art is an expression of the soul, and the younger generation is very much in touch with their inner beings. Nigeria has a diverse culture and recent artists have shown us that we are blessed with youths who are beginning to gain a better understanding of our culture, going on to use the modern tools to promote this culture through their art.
Story telling is an art form we all can relate to, and these young bloods have found various mediums to tell a story. This action has inspired this generation and the ones to come on the limitless possibilities of belief and action.
In the words of Franz Kafka, a German-language writer of novels and short stories “Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” True to this quote, the young ones are interpreting beauty to the best of their capabilities and also using their medium to change society in the way they know how.
Ade Okelarin is a London-based Nigerian self-taught concept photographer and visual artist. His work evokes emotion and plays with the mind on interpretation. Asiko has mastered the art of storytelling without words and continues to create images that resonate deeply in our hearts. According to the Re.Le Gallery which exhibits the artist’s works in Nigeria “His work is autobiographical and emotional, resonant and explores concepts of identity and culture. His work is inspired by surrealism and fantasy and quantifies a mood of melancholia and the poignant moment.”
In his own words; “My work is layered in light, texture, and mood and rooted in a narrative. Photography for me is about a conversation on how I see the world, how I interpret my African heritage and how I create a story.”
Dipo Doherty is a Nigerian based new generation artist, with skills and techniques that speak globally. He was profiled by Madam Nike Davis Okudaye as the ‘African Picasso’. Dipo’s art is a combination of symbolism and existentialism. He also has an eclectic attitude to his style. It differs with his work and in some pieces there are different styles used in the same art work, all still being underlined by the same approach.
His resemblance to Picasso is astonishing and refreshing. It is food for thought when you stand before a piece by Dipo. It makes you think and ponder about the underlying message he hoped to pass with every stroke, every drawing, every symbol.
Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu is a Nigerian based multidisciplinary artist. She has found expression in forms such as painting, drawing, dancing, photography, digital art and collaging. Yadi finds a peculiar unison in all expression, which makes it easy for her to explore.
Her art records some part of her consciousness with lines, forms and colour. While creating, she strives to merge direct representations of her experiences with indirect ones. Yadi’s work mostly centers on the idea of the simplest things being able to evolve into more complex things and complex things being broken down to their bare minimum. It explores how definitions shape our perception, and sometimes invoke reactions from us.