Arinze Stephen Ekwuide

Born 1992, Nigeria
Lives in: Lagos, Nigeria
Media: Drawing
Describe your art in 3 words: Sadness, revoltive and healing

"Using graphite and charcoal pencil, I let my feelings and emotion come alive on paper or Linen. Inspired by the fast-changing world and to revolt against most Nigerian traditions that neglects the importance of women in the society, youths and child abuses, sexism, nepotism, narcissism and dictatorship using my Art as the medium and tells the world my story.."

What themes does your work involve?
Growing up in a society where as a child, you’re denied the privilege to decide your future profession, where women are greatly neglected, where men in uniforms abuse their positions all time, My art rises as a medium to counteract archaic political practices, child abuses and sexism.
Describe your creative process.
I believe that energy and emotion flows in all things pertaining to life. Feeling and emotion is the key to figuring what I wishes to create. The next stage is to get a muse suitable for the work, hire professional photographer(when am still learning photography) try to convene my feelings and emotion into my muse to get the perfect shot., then I move on to transferring the reference into the paper using pencils of different kind while making a lot of changes, the final result of my works always have some differences from the reference but I retain the realism. I never know or can I say am done, just like Da Vinci said, “art is never finished, it’s just abandoned."
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Am inspired by the beauty in art, I started create art because it’s beautiful. As time goes on, I learn that I can live as an activist, a revolutionary using art as the medium. I have great connect with my works and most time I shed tears while letting a piece go because of how much peace and beauty I get while simply looking at them in real life.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Art itself I believe is the beginning of all life in the universe, the universe survive by connect with most of its elements. Art needs to has connections, emotions, provokes deep questions and reveal mysteries or be mysterious, some taste good,some looks good.
What is the role of the artist today?
I choose to be an artist, it was easy choice for me as a child but the journey to achieving it as an adult is completely different. I choose art because i want to connect with people around me and the world and believe me art has done more than connecting me with the world. My Art gives me peace of mind, it healed my broken soul, led me to Nigeria art families. Art gave me an idea on how to tell the world my story in one picture, how to make changes and have a satisfying life. The world is changing so is how art connects people and leads artist. I believe that no matter how the world changes art will always lead the souls of artist to the right part to uplift the society.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist