Fun Fact: Sent to England in 1947 to become a mining engineer, his artistic talent was soon perceived. He was accepted at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and later went to the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of London, the famous “Slade”. While studying in England he made several artistic pilgrimages to the continent of Europe.
Fun Fact:Much of Aniakor’s art, particularly in ink and watercolor, displays strong linear qualities based upon uli, and he maintains that his interest in this design system developed separately from that of Uche Okeke. His human figures, often possessing elongated bodies and limbs, are frequently massed together in a work, and he makes skillful use of negative space.
Quote: My painting ideas are carried over months in the antipodes of the mind, undergoing creative mutation, occasionally surfacing to be synthesized–just in the way a goat sits under the shade to chew its cud. These ideas mature with time like the sprouts of yam seedlings. It is during this period that I feel like the traditional carver who says that to ‘carve a mask you must be the mask
Country: Haiti (giving in to my greater panafricanist agenda and considering Haiti African)
Style: Contemporary/ Post Modernist/ Abstract
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Fun Fact: Using video and multi-media, painting, installation and other mixed media he addresses issues of identity, ethnicity and race. As an artist, he aims to challenge preconceived notions of the driving influences and interests of Haitian artists. Benjamin self taught but frequented museums in New York, Washington, D.C. and abroad exposing him to international contemporary tends in art.
Quote: I begin with a formal sketch, I deconstruct it until it is destroyed… and then it appears… within the light.
Fun Fact: While much of his work is derived from sacred Qur'anic texts and is the embodiment of his own deep Islamic faith, the startling visual impact of his scriptorial palettes, which go far beyond decorative inscriptions, makes them immediately accessible as numinous images, irrespective of whether the texts can be read or not.
Western art deals with the casual, rather than what I call the immutable essence
Fun Fact: Bursting with color and layered in fabrics and objects picked up from his global travels, Watts’ paintings are still entrenched in his own style of Neo-Expressionism. Cryptic serial numbers abound, alluding to a secret code that only he knows about, but one that could potentially be worked out through clever deciphering or a deep understanding of West African cosmology. The mysticism that prevails reflects a coalescent spirituality, his beliefs not tied to one religion or another, but that together are very much a part of his enduring creative passion.
My vision is not based only on a country or a continent; it’s beyond geography, or what is seen on a map. Even though I localize it to make it understood better, it is wider than that. It refers to the cosmos…
Fun Fact: Beth Kimwele works mostly in oil and canvas and has over the years become a master of pointillism, and contemporary abstract styles. Her themes revolve around women, their day to day activities, their interactions, and their rich and diverse culture. She works in a bright and compelling array of colours.