8 March 2019

Nigeria's Hyper Realistic Artists Making Waves

Photo: The Guardian
Kevin Hart has reached out to a young Nigerian artist who posted a drawing of him on Twitter.

In 2016 the hyper-realism art community got a boost in Nigeria when the oil paintings by the artist, Olumide Oresegun went viral on social media and many mistook them to be actual photos.

This amongst several such trends in the last few years has bought the emerging hyperrealist art community in Nigeria's to the fore for everyone and not just art connoisseurs and Aesthete.

In 2018 a hashtag #WeAreNigerianCreatives was one of such trends.

Here are Six Nigerian artist to be reckoned with in the hyperrealists art genre.

Oscar Ukonu is a self-taught Nigerian artist, who uses only a ball pen to create stunning photorealistic portraits takes an average of 100 to 120 hours to complete a piece.

Oscar on his twitter account‏ @UkonuOscar says he uses "Approximately ten ball pens per piece."

He also added that his hands are often stained with the ink. Oscar has a preference for blue pen.

Ayo Filade website says he is a 2012 graduate of Architecture from the University of Nottingham

Ayo known better as AyoDraws, was first encouraged to draw and paint by his artist father. He uses coloured pencils to create photorealistic paintings and he also has works that are in Black and white.

Ken Nwadiogbu uses pencils as well as acrylic and oil to create hyperrealistic portraits.

Kens work coveys his passion for activism like feminism, being black, humanity among others.

He was born in Lagos and went to University of Lagos, where he studied Civil and Environmental Engineering. He goes by Ken Art.

He doesn't just draw for artsake his work always have a message that is meant to change and inspire society. One key element you find in Ken's works are partial faces usually covered by signs, papers, Nylons.

His works have a 3-D feel to them. The faces seem to want to break through this coverings.

"I feel the society speaks and we listen," he said. "I feel it's my job to reply (to society), to try to change people's minds." - Ken said in an interview with CNN.

Kelvin Okafor is a British artist of Nigerian descent. He lives in London and has won numerous awards and did a lot of exhibitions. Kelvin works with pencil and charcoal.

He has done portraits of ordinary people as well as celebrities.

Art Critic, Estelle Lovatt describes his work as 'Emotional Realism' because his work elicits strong emotional response. He mostly draws portraits.

Arinze Stanley Egbengwu is a pencil artist who was born in Lagos and read Agricultural engineering from Imo State University.

"Over the years He gradually taught himself how to master both Pencils and Paper in harmony as a medium to express himself through what he calls his three P's namely Patience, Practice and Persistence," His website states.

Stanley says "My art is born out of the zeal for perfection both in skill, expression and devotion to create positive changes in the world."

Oresegun Olumide received media attention in Nigeria and beyond after he posted some of his oil on canvas paintings on social media.

Like several of the other artists Oresegun was born in Lagos. When his work went viral Netizens were in disbelief at the hyperrealiness of his work and some mistook it to be have digital photographs.

Olumide doesn't just paint portraits with single subject but complete scenes with several subjects. Water and Children are often principal elements and theme in his works.

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