4 Nigerian Contemporary Artists Shaking The Art Scene

Posted on

Africa boasts of some of the most phenomenal creations to ever grace the art community. From the Benin bronze sculptures looted by the British to the Asante gold artefacts stolen by colonial masters, the work exhibited by various museums around the world today would not be complete without the mention of Africa’s artistic prowess. In Nigeria today, what we have grown to appreciate as modern art was influenced greatly by European training and techniques. Thankfully, in the past decade, contemporary Nigerian artists have gained a fair amount of independence, giving them the liberty to create art that is authentically Nigerian.

The visual arts sector, in particular, has continued to grow, with notable veterans like Nike Davies-Okundaye, Victor Ekikhamenor, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Kadara Enyeasi and Peju Alatise setting the pace for contemporary artists to follow. More than ever before, the work of Nigerian visual artists has become experimental, particularly with the growing popularity of digital art.  The contemporary art scene in Nigeria has continued to garner international attention, with patrons, investors and buyers boosting the market. 

Here is a list of four contemporary artists who are currently shaking up the art scene in Nigeria;

Chigozie Obi

Chigozie Obi is a Nigerian multi-dimensional visual artist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of Lagos and has recently completed her residency with Bethany Arts Community, New York, USA. Obi’s work employs vivid figures and vibrant colours in the portrayal of stories from real-life experiences while depicting a clear representation of black people existing in their diversity. Her work touches on beauty standards, the human aspect of life, and the struggle for self-acceptance while aiming to create sustainable societal conversations.

She has shown her work in several places including GTBank Art635 Inspire Auction (2020), MoCada Museum’s silent auction (2019), Collective Renditions, African Artists Foundation, Lagos (2019), Rele in Lekki, Lagos (2018), The Studio Scout, Omenka Gallery, Lagos (2018). In July 2018, she was selected as Arthouse Contemporary’s Artist of the month. Obi is also a recipient of the inaugural Tilga Fund for Arts Grant (2020) and the Art.ng Grant for Visual Artists (2020). 


Anthony Azekwoh 

Anthony Azekwoh is a Lagos born-digital artist and author. Azekwoh’s paintings carry a phenomenal depth that pulls his audience toward the subject’s unspoken stories. Thriving as an entirely self-taught artist, he creates captivating alternate realities with his distinct art style.

Azekwoh has worked with artists like Masego, Show Dem Camp, Blaqbonez, Adekunle Gold and many more international clients, creating album art and other campaigns. His artwork has been shown at exhibitions around Lagos, Denver and Abuja and covered in publications like Yahoo Finance, Culture Custodian, Techpoint Africa and Olongo Africa. Azekwoh’s 100% sold NFT collection has also funded The Rosemary Fund, a grant set up to support Nigerian artists.

Stacey Okparavero

Stacey Okparavero is a Nigerian multidisciplinary artist who works with a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and performance art. Her multifaceted practice focuses on environmental and socio-economic issues while investigating the human experience.

Okparavero’s work has been exhibited in Lagos, London, Chambéry, Tennessee, Dakar, Accra, Nairobi, and New York. She has also had her work studied and published in research projects at the Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands, and the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She has had her work exhibited in the Gallery of African Art, U.K in 2017, Gallery of Small things in Dakar Biennial Off, Senegal in 2018, LineGuage at the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos, Nigeria in 2018, and Art Expo New York in 2019.

Jekein Lato-Unah

Jekein Lato-Unah is famous for her creation of oil paintings that depict the nearly tangible energy of her subjects. Through her art, she looks at the objectification of women and the oppression of marginalised groups while celebrating women and touching on social constructs. Lato-Unah aims to capture women in their “simple, best and happiest states” and her portfolio is heavily influenced by the experiences of herself, other women, as well as the work of artists before her. She often participates in performance art workshops and mentors female artists in West Africa and America.

Lato-Unah has had her work exhibited in The Nu-African Contemporary & Modern Art Exhibition (2021), Belvoir Gallery  Leicester, UK (2021), Obinrin – Whitespace Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos (2020), The Stories We Tell – What If Hub Lekki, Lagos (2020), Nigerian Female Artists Auction, Calabar Gallery (2020), Iluminación, El Viaje Emocional, Wylsum Gallery Barcelona, Spain (2020), ALLWOMXNMATTER, Jullie Miller African Contemporary, Capetown, South Africa (2020), Change, Norman Rea Gallery, University of York, United Kingdom (2020), and the Athens Open Art, Dim. Eginitou  Thissio, Athens(2020), among many others. Her work is also featured in private collections around the globe – Manhattan, Malta, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Athens, Qatar, Sweden, and Capetown.



%d bloggers like this: