African art has historically been plagued by anonymity, as African artists remain unrecognized on the international stage. However, more African artists are working on improving the visibility of African art, including Nigerian artist, Dennis Osadebe. Ayiba’s Joy Mwaniki found out about what inspires Osadebe and his bold take on art.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My dreams, rhythm, conversations, energy from places, new ideas/innovation, elements from my childhood, women, of course. [Laughs] To be honest, most of my inspiration comes from constantly working, cause that is when improvements occur and I’m inspired by my improvements.
What materials do you use in creating your work? What can’t you do without?
There are different textures to my process because of the type of art I do which involves me working digitally, and when it is produced, bringing it to life using other mediums like acrylics, spray paints, and so on. In terms of what I can’t do without I’d say, my left hand? [Laughs]
Favorite piece of art that you’ve made?
I really can’t single out a piece of mine as a favorite, I know it’s weird, but I love all my works equally. They are like my kids and they make me proud in their own ways from time to time.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I don’t eat fish.
Who is your favorite living artist?
I don’t have a favorite actually, I’m a big fan of Chris Ofilli though, Fredrico Urbie too, Guy Yanai, and Kanye West also.
What do you like or don’t like about the art industry?
I like that there is a lot more appreciation for art now, and that I am a part of the industry and I am witnessing all this growth, it presents a lot of opportunities. I also like that there are a lot of young creatives like myself who are starting to chase their dreams and starting to believe that it can be achieved. Honestly, seeing what all these young people are doing is really inspiring. Lastly, I like that there are galleries like Rele, for example, who are invested in developing and nurturing new talent in the country.
All of Dennis’ work can be viewed at IAMISIGO showroom.