Originally a graduate with a Civil Engineering Degree, Ken Nwadiogbu managed to worry his parents when he explained his plans to move from a career as a professional engineer, to being a professional artist. However, one look at his work and you’re immediately drawn to the conclusion that he’s taken the right path. Africa Fashion gets up close and personal with Ken’s spectacular sketches.
Seeing one of Ken’s characters peering at you from behind a torn page, and your impulse is to reach out and touch the drawing. To know if the tear is real or not. His use of textures, shading and perspective are all immaculate. The drawings are so perfect, that you cannot believe they are not photographic.
“My works are not just inspired by my ability to create large hyper-realistic images with a charcoal pencil and my recently added collage materials, but also my desperate approach to create constructive discourses that define our everyday living”, Ken explains. “I have been prolific in producing works that advocate positive changes in the society, hence, designed me to be an ‘activist on canvas’. I display Black power as a timely, biting subject in large works with black people of assured attitudes permeating my project’s oeuvre”.
His characters are so real, that you can literally feel their emotion. All of this is intentional.
I work in a genre of art called Figurative Hyper-realism
“My works tend to nurse a rare and undiluted expression, letting the subjects in my art communicate via their emotions”, he says. “The name indeed is derived from my success in creating a very realistic image and deploying elements that create an impression or illusion of form and space, and, usually, to create emphasis in the narrative I portray”.
His last collection was entitled ‘The King’s Diary’, and he is now working on a new series that explores female-feminine power dynamics.
His portfolio has received wide-ranging plaudits. In 2016, Ken was featured at Omenka Gallery’s INSANITY exhibition, curated by Oliver Enwonwu, in Lagos, Nigeria. He has been involved with other group exhibitions, including the TMC’s It’s Not Furniture, curated by Winifred Okpapi and the Artyrama’s group exhibition curated by Mr Jess Castellote. He also co-founded Artists Connect NG, the largest Nigerian artist gathering, which takes place at Lekki Leisure Lake, in Lagos, Nigeria.
We wish Ken every success in the future and hope that more galleries across the globe choose to feature and showcase his work.