Anedu Edozie: Giving The Art A Name & Meaning

“Something just keeps telling me to place the next stroke, to pick up a brighter hue and then fast forward some six to eight hours later you can find me just staring at the piece”, Anedu Edozie shared with me, the creative process behind the appealing works of art on his Instagram page: @anedu.edozie

The page, like an art gallery, is decorated with paintings that are sure to catch the eyes of a first time visitor, just as they are likely to arouse curios interest. “Much Ado about Nothing”, a two-part series on the page, shows people-like forms positioned in a not so regular pattern, signalling confusion amongst the subjects.

The pieces, separately, and even when put together, are undeniably beautiful; but without Anedu’s descriptive caption, the thought behind the art might not click. “…you can see (this) is a group of Yoruba men arguing”, he wrote in the caption; and added that it took him five long months to figure out the piece, confirming that a level of intelligence is required for full appreciation of his works. “I know the kind of audience my works are created for, not the shallow minded or superficial audience but viewers who have had a connection with their inner self”.

The graphical illustration of the message in “Not My Business” – Professor Niyi Osundare’s famous poem – is another hard-to-ignore material in Anedu’s impressive showcase. The poem captures the line of disconnect between stakeholders of the society, exploited by military men, through their oppressive habits, before the arrival of democracy. This transaction is visible between the characters in Anedu’s piece: the oppressed, the oppressor, the soon-to-be oppressed, the unconcerned.

Anedu’s artistic nature of mirroring the realities of his immediate environment with his works is further pronounced with his publication of December 22, 2018: “Religion, Politics and what not…” The 2-in-1 post carrying acrylic and oil on canvas paintings, shows the links and associations between what looks like representative political and religious figures; a usually rife topic at the time of elections. Anedu explained that: “my works mostly explore pop cultural themes and how the world around me is gradually changing especially due to the influence of western culture”.

Even with the weight of societal influence on Anedu’s art, his imaginative mind remains the core element. “I’ll call it (my style of painting) African neo expressionism. Expressionism is an art style that in which the artist seeks to express emotional experience rather than impressions of the external world. It is being able to communicate unique, individual feelings and emotions of the artist to their audience. As a modern artist, I direct my works towards expressing an inner world, not just about the reality of it”, he broke it down to bits for me.

People have likened Anedu’s ability to make interpretations of societal happenings, and communicating these interpretations through paintings, with famous American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Anedu admits to the influence of the famous artist on his art. “Yeah that’s true, I was highly influenced by his works”. The 21-year old artist also mentioned Picasso, Andy Warhol, George Brake; and contemporaries like Ben Enwonwu, George Condo, Flore, Habeed Andy, as his influences.

Music has always been known to play a role in our lives generally, but even more in the life of creatives. Anedu acknowledged the influence of music on his art. He said, “Music does it for me most times, I love alternative sounds and I have tried to compare painting with music and painting without music, one feels more alive than the other (you already know which). The rhythm helps me not to over think and they give me a sense of freedom as well”.

You would think that, as a student, Anedu Edozie is one of the leading ones in an Arts’ Department in the University of Benin, but instead, he is studying Chemical Engineering in the institution. “I always get the question ‘why didn’t you study art in college’ well I’ll say I didn’t want it to get boring studying it in school for four years and because I am very unconventional about my own kind of art”. Anedu spoke more about education from sources outside school. No wonder, he wrote it boldly in his Instagram bio that he is a “self-taught artist.” After all, the principle that guides his art was picked up from his studies of works of Andy Warhol, who said: “Always ensure you’re happy about making your art and don’t let all these hyper-realism artists make you feel your art is no good. Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding make even more art”.

“Something just keeps telling me to place the next stroke, to pick up a brighter hue and then fast forward some six to eight hours later you can find me just staring at the piece”, Anedu Edozie shared with me, the creative process behind the appealing works of art on his Instagram page: @anedu.edozie

The page, like an art gallery, is decorated with paintings that are sure to catch the eyes of a first time visitor, just as they are likely to arouse curios interest. “Much Ado about Nothing”, a two-part series on the page, shows people-like forms positioned in a not so regular pattern, signalling confusion amongst the subjects.

The pieces, separately, and even when put together, are undeniably beautiful; but without Anedu’s descriptive caption, the thought behind the art might not click. “…you can see (this) is a group of Yoruba men arguing”, he wrote in the caption; and added that it took him five long months to figure out the piece, confirming that a level of intelligence is required for full appreciation of his works. “I know the kind of audience my works are created for, not the shallow minded or superficial audience but viewers who have had a connection with their inner self”.

The graphical illustration of the message in “Not My Business” – Professor Niyi Osundare’s famous poem – is another hard-to-ignore material in Anedu’s impressive showcase. The poem captures the line of disconnect between stakeholders of the society, exploited by military men, through their oppressive habits, before the arrival of democracy. This transaction is visible between the characters in Anedu’s piece: the oppressed, the oppressor, the soon-to-be oppressed, the unconcerned.

Anedu’s artistic nature of mirroring the realities of his immediate environment with his works is further pronounced with his publication of December 22, 2018: “Religion, Politics and what not…” The 2-in-1 post carrying acrylic and oil on canvas paintings, shows the links and associations between what looks like representative political and religious figures; a usually rife topic at the time of elections. Anedu explained that: “my works mostly explore pop cultural themes and how the world around me is gradually changing especially due to the influence of western culture”.

Even with the weight of societal influence on Anedu’s art, his imaginative mind remains the core element. “I’ll call it (my style of painting) African neo expressionism. Expressionism is an art style that in which the artist seeks to express emotional experience rather than impressions of the external world. It is being able to communicate unique, individual feelings and emotions of the artist to their audience. As a modern artist, I direct my works towards expressing an inner world, not just about the reality of it”, he broke it down to bits for me.

People have likened Anedu’s ability to make interpretations of societal happenings, and communicating these interpretations through paintings, with famous American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Anedu admits to the influence of the famous artist on his art. “Yeah that’s true, I was highly influenced by his works”. The 21-year old artist also mentioned Picasso, Andy Warhol, George Brake; and contemporaries like Ben Enwonwu, George Condo, Flore, Habeed Andy, as his influences.

Music has always been known to play a role in our lives generally, but even more in the life of creatives. Anedu acknowledged the influence of music on his art. He said, “Music does it for me most times, I love alternative sounds and I have tried to compare painting with music and painting without music, one feels more alive than the other (you already know which). The rhythm helps me not to over think and they give me a sense of freedom as well”.

You would think that, as a student, Anedu Edozie is one of the leading ones in an Arts’ Department in the University of Benin, but instead, he is studying Chemical Engineering in the institution. “I always get the question ‘why didn’t you study art in college’ well I’ll say I didn’t want it to get boring studying it in school for four years and because I am very unconventional about my own kind of art”. Anedu spoke more about education from sources outside school. No wonder, he wrote it boldly in his Instagram bio that he is a “self-taught artist.” After all, the principle that guides his art was picked up from his studies of works of Andy Warhol, who said: “Always ensure you’re happy about making your art and don’t let all these hyper-realism artists make you feel your art is no good. Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding make even more art”.

This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets

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