Please introduce yourself to us?
Hi, my name is Chijioke Anyacho, I was born on the 19th of July. I live in Lagos, Nigeria. I’m an Artist. I studied fine and applied arts at the University of Benin, Edo state, Nigeria. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a creative person.
I’m inspired by my everyday life experiences, by happenings in the world, by fashion, music and social media. For me, being an artist is a never ending journey of reaching deep. Its about the truth, being honest with myself and being genuine with the things I say with my works.
Can you describe your style of art to us?
My works are figurative expressionism. It’s a spontaneous and layered process of employing broad chaotic strokes to convey emotions, and I juxtapose that with bright bold colors. I like my works looking “unfinished.” I like to task my audience to actively engage with the works. Literally requiring them to “fill in the blank” while they come to terms with the raw energy inherent in my works. I work primarily with oil colors. It’s best suited for my creative process, not rushing to finish what I am creating.
What is the message behind your art?
I want my audience to experience the emotions in other people’s corner. I want them to consciously participate in the process of how people react to sociopolitical, cultural, and sexual bias issues in society. I’m drawn to the various subjective responses of individuals to these sociocultural issues. My works are also a commentary on things happening in the community.
Watch and Listen to our interview with Chijoike Anyacho
What is your favorite color?
As an individual, I have a very soft spot for pink. I do consider it to be my favorite color however, this does not influence my color choices. As an artist, I don’t have a favorite color, although I make use of Prussian blue to draw because I don’t want to use black and that’s the closest thing to the color black.
Talk to us about the works in the Paradigms of Perception Exhibition?
I will start with “Man Made God in His own Image.” This works appropriates the Biblical saying “God made man in his own image and after his likeness.” It’s a rebuke of the rise of prosperity gospel. Religious leaders create images of God that align with their selfish and greedy selves to exploit people in order for them to live in luxury, while their congregations live in poverty. “Gucci pastors.” They sell fake hopes to people and blur the lines between motivational speakers and pastors. Most, I think are motivational speakers using their charisma to fool people.
The creation of Adam referenced in this painting points to the current distortion of the Church. We have entirely reinvented the meaning of “Grace,” a fancier word for corruption. This piece is also heavily influenced by “How to worship the Nigeria God,” by 3 John.
The next work is “Breakfast after matching outfits.” There’s a popular saying in Nigeria “Breakfast will get to everyone,” this breakfast they talk about, is not food. It’s heartbreak. We will all get heartbroken. It’s used as a subtle reminder to those undergoing the pain of heartbreak that they are not alone, it’s just their time for “breakfast.” It’s both a coping mechanism and a cynical approach to relationships. The work conveys the chaotic emotions that follow the end of a relationship.
The last work is “I came, I saw, I lost.” This work talks about our interaction with failure. Sometimes you will fail, it’s inevitable. It doesn’t matter how prepared you are. When you fail, fail forward. Try again, and again. Failing does not make one a failure. The best teams in sports lose, the best fighters lose. Sometimes, it’s the failure that will sprout seeds of success.
2020. Miller_Zillmer Stiftung (shortlist)
2021. Emerging Creative Awards/grant, Protagonistic, USA.
2021. Rele Young Contemporaries Bootcamp, Ekiti, Nigeria
2021. ArtOmi, Artist Residency, Ghent NY, USA (deferred to 2022)
2021. Chautauqua School of Arts, NY, USA (deferred to 2022)
Chijioke Anyacho. Paradigms of Perception. Mitochondria Gallery. Buy Pop Art.
Mitochondria Gallery is based in Houston, Texas. We specializes in art works from emerging and established artist from Africa and the diaspora, with the mission to educate, and expand the public awareness on contemporary arts from Africa.
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