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Originality and Being Stranger/Son at Home Everywhere

Authenticity for an artist means one of 2 things- either your herd accepts you are reflecting the values of that community, or you act like an outsider hybrid of sorts. I have oscillated between both poles at various times in my career. Being in this constant flux and impatience while looking at one’s audience drives creativity in all directions.

My work resonates often with a forward-looking, younger generation of Nigerians who must see some of their dreams and aspirations reflected. The migrant, global nomad crosses borders, physically and mentally. One finds common grounds with the citizens and yet enthuses in showing off one’s cultural heritage at any opportunity.

My work draws strength from the memories of home and the meetings with others. Motion is constant- growth and an embrace of the new. I am the disenchanted youth disappointed by generations of political leaders whose agenda is self-aggrandizement.

Look again at my thesis- the paintings speak of blurred lines of identity, a neo-international patriotism spanning continents. So, it is about lines and not borders. It is about a thousand color nuances and an inherent balance that does not stay centerstage. It can be a tipping point of existence. Either you are pushed to the periphery, or you stand among friends. History will tell. Time will tell. In the interim, I must continue working.


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