One of the challenges – or maybe perks – of being a creative is the birth of ideas every single time. I say it’s a challenge because you’re expected to come up with something nobody else has come up with before. It’s a perk because it implies that your imagination is being challenged, and you have the ability to breath life into things.
Now, artists falls under the creative category. Just like other creatives, they’re also faced with challenges. The beautiful part about art is that it revolves – it grows and is reborn. That’s why you could liken a twenty-first century artist to an eighteenth century artist – because they have a similar style. However, every other thing about their art will differ.
Today, there are three beautiful pieces of art. They give off that renaissance feeling, like something pulled right out of the past – a sort of looking glass, you could say. These artworks – Adaku, Diary of the Unbroken and Muse in Gold – were painted by Tega Akpokona. He is a Nigerian contemporary artist that was born in 1991. He studied Fine and Applied Art at the University of Benin, Nigeria. You can check out his Instagram page @akpokonatega.
There’s a recurring pattern in his works – they look like they were pulled into the present from the past. Some of his works like Ekaete and Uwa will reveal the fact that most of his works are portraits and are influenced by the renaissance period, as it has that renaissance feel.The first painting “Adaku” depicts a brown-skinned African girl, in a ball gown with hues of green. With her natural hair (divided into two puffs), the henna on her hand, her pair of earrings and green necklace, she seems quite fashionable. While the setting is quite catchy and captivating, the most enthralling thing about the painting is her eyes. They are rich with emotions and are a stark contrast to her appearance – a wealthy one.
Her name “Adaku” means daughter of wealth. In spite of her wealthy appearance, she doesn’t look happy. In fact, she looks like she’s being auctioned off for marriage, a marriage she doesn’t want to have. I’m assuming that this piece reflects on how happiness is not determined by how rich you are.
The second painting “Diary of the Unbroken” follows a typical “Tega Akpokona” pattern. There is the reddish tint that gives it that “a scene from the past” vibe. It’s of a man dressed in suit with a white shirt and red tie. With his dressing, he gives off a polished aura. However, just like “Adaku”, his eyes give his experiences and pain away. This could be seen as a sort of social commentary, of a society where people hide their pain and heartache with smiles and disguises.
The third and last painting “Muse in Gold” is a very enchanting piece. It depicts a lady in a quite regal pose holding onto her robe – which is quite close to slipping off. There is a reddish hue too, and her eyes are downcast. The representation of the lady is quite colorful, but somber. It seems bittersweet, as the lady has an expression of someone accepting the inevitable. This work could be a social commentary on rape against women in the society, victims who are forced to come to terms with their abuse.
A deeper research will reveal the fact that Tega Akpoona’s art is influenced by the Dutch Baroque period. Like all other artists however, he has managed to carve a niche for himself in the artist. His style is also a very unique one.