The blossoming of Nigerian artists and their artworks is something that cannot be undermined by the country’s slow but steady developing social economy, as we have witnessed the emergence of art pieces which showcases the nations enormous creativity and cultural strength.
With the likes of Ken Nwadiogbu, Zara Medudgu, Isimi Taiwo, Kareen Olamilekan, John Israel, Sly, Dennis Osadebe, IyunOla Sanyaolu and so many more blossoming into the scene, Nigerian Youths continue to play the lead role in the evolution of the artistic world as they flourish into what can be described as a butterfly that once was a cocoon.
According to a Nigerian, Abuja based artist Zara Medugu, “I think living in Nigeria has given me the avenue for contrast in my art. I do a lot of nudes, abstracts and cartoon like stuff, but that is not really the norm in terms of what you see when you go to most galleries or show.
The multidisciplinary artist, during an email interview with theparakeetshow.com describes her art as abstract with a usual use of colors, cartoon like figures, or something a little off: “I dabble in a lot of mediums, but my primary focus is painting. My subject is always really simple, but what I focus on in the painting gives it that odd constant that’s in all my work.
“I love that everyone is expressing their creative side and it is more acceptable to venture into that. You can talk to someone who read a really strict course but is actually super into fashion or art and gets to do that now.
“However, I do not like that it has become two things; busy work and very political. I mean busy work in the sense that when people are not finding jobs or are not making as much money as they want; they
get into art to attract money rather than to create art, which confuses buyers and audiences.
“In a place like Nigeria where art is everywhere; but being an artist (or creative) has just become a viable path,
which is not allowing people who want to live off art to do so. It is over
saturating the market.
“It is hard to find platforms and avenues that
promote you rather than profit off of you. In the sense of it being political,
it’s become a situation where whoever has more money, more clout or more
connections seem to dominate the scene and already make it this exclusive and cliquey
sphere, while others are looking for an opening.
The 23 years old Artist further explained that: “WE NEED MORE PLATFORMS THAT AREN’T JUST COMPETITIONS! I think opening an art school, a residency program or providing more jobs within certain
spheres for artists is a step forward. Teach practical things in addition to
history and theories. Get an actual graphic designer to create posters, not
just someone who knows how to work a computer. Stop taking shortcuts and get
someone who has the actual skills to carry out what you want done. A lot of
artists and creative’s don’t know their worth because there’s always someone
willing to undermine them with a lower price or someone willing to price down
their work because they’re not as known as someone else. Artists work in tech,
in branding, in architecture, in all aspects of business and life. Hire one and
Meanwhile, John Israel describes his art as an avenue to value and explore every form of
medium he comes in contact with, as his art requires the study of facial
features and figures, land and sea space, stylized.
“I would say commercialization is taking over
the Nigerian Art scene, and Nigerian artist are losing out their authenticity
in production. In simple terms; most young artist are after what is marketable
rather than staying true to their ideas.
“I think the government can put up grants and I expect to see more art residences within the country and also partner with neighboring countries on art residences and art exhibitions/projects. Even going for art seminars in other countries, fully funded,” Israel expressed.