Art is a pretty big deal now – a really big deal. So many artists produce mind-blowing artworks, that are results of so many hours of dedication. You see these amazing pieces and ask, “how on earth did you do this?” But the truth is, they did not develop these skills in one day, it took a long time, several days of trying and trying. 

For every pencil art, there are probably so many moments of drawing and erasing – trying to get a curve here and an edge there. The truth is that, no matter how many mistakes were made, there was a saving grace – the ability to erase. Now, there are pen artists out there, serving us amazing works, in spite of the fact that they need to be very careful. For every mistake they make, there is no erasing, just straight up tearing the paper apart, and starting afresh. Pen art is kind of becoming the new cool.

Maduka Onyebuchi is a ballpen artist from Nigeria. As the introduction implies, Maduka’s style of art is characterized by the use of ballpen to make portraits, which somehow find a way to present itself as a social commentary. Two of his works will be examined today.

This definitely looks like a portrait of Tupac Shakur! Art is subjective, so you’re allowed to interpret this however you want. The blending of the dark and light hues was executed perfectly, in such a way that you can tell where the light is reflecting off on. The detail and definition on the skin definitely implies that a lot of time was spent on the drawing. The best part about it? The fact that a ball-pen drawing could be so surreal.

Now, if you thought that the first drawing was awesome, then you’re not even prepared for this! My first thought when I saw this was “damn! This is some deep stuff.”

It depicts a lady/woman (it depends on how you seee it) being silenced by one thousand naira – a slave to money in a society where how wealthy you are determines your status. Several interpretations can be deducted from this drawing – from bribery to rape to corruption – being unable to speak when some injustice has been done against us. 

This is basically a social commentary on how the weak are preyed on by the strong, how the rich prey on the poor. Basically, it’s how so many problems are shot down by tossing money around.

Art has been and will continue to be a strong medium for expressing our opinion in the society.

Categories: art


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