Meet the Artist: Tega Akpokona “Illuminating the World with his Brush”
There is no doubt that Artists are regarded as people who live in their own shell, their creativity and various contradictions make them who they are. Crazy, obnoxious but still the products of this perceived impulsiveness is what makes the world go round. A little known fact is that artists are often much more than whimsy. They are dedicated, deliberate and spend hours honing their craft.
On this edition of #MeetTheArtist we will be looking one of Nigeria’s talented art juggernauts, his work speaks like that of an angry preacher in a desert. A shining light in the chaotic world that we live in today, he uses this medium of expression to bring attention to those needy situations around him.
His name is Tega Akpokona; Born in Benin City, Nigeria, Tega is an outstanding and talented young Nigerian emerging artist whose passion for art has placed him on a spot with other great Nigerian artists. He graduated with a bachelors’ degree in art, from the University of Benin, Nigeria, in 2011. Subsequently, he became a protégé under the mentorship of Master Nigerian artist Abiodun Olaku. Viewing some of Tega’s paintings, the viewer is allured by the creative use of light inter played with rich subtle colours capturing the depth of human emotion. He strikes a very brilliant attraction to reality with his works thus making him speak and connect with his art.
His works can be found in prestigious private collections Nigeria, UK and in the US.
When asked about his passion and what inspires him this is what Tega had to say
“Life is the only term broad enough to fully describe what inspires me. As a fine artist I’m bound by aesthetics, no matter what story I’m telling with my work. I try to capture the visual interaction of light, design in daily human activities, and the essence of human emotion in my work”
The painting titled ‘Silent prayers’, was inspired by the lives of impoverished and homeless people living in the streets. The present system doesn’t provide the infrastructure needed to cater to them, so their daily survival depends on the sympathy of passers-by.
“The painting ‘Luminance’ is from a series of paintings I made about a place called Oba market in Benin City, where I grew up. The visual experience of the indoor market, with sky holes illuminating the commercial activities really inspired me.”
In “Askers by the Footbridge” a common sight in Lagos and other Urban growing cities, Tega portrays the struggle of the physically challenged and how they interact with the able people. His amazing stroke of brush with light makes this piece of art a must have piece.
“Beyond Tomorrow” is one of our features as humans, we tend to worry about everything and even push ourselves for no cause. Why Worry when you don’t know tomorrow. The wrinkles on this man’s face are as a result of his habitual worrying.
The city of Lagos has been defined by several quarters as the city of hustlers with the common saying in Yoruba “Eko O gba gbere”. Enterprising and dynamic . The “ Spirit of Enterprise” is in all of us, that is why we do what we do. Tega in this painting captures the very essence of our struggles, dreams and aspirations in this painting.