Art is an emotional subject and for Joseph, using something that most conveys emotion works for him.
I first saw his work at “From Eko With Love” art exhibition held sometime last year. I was drawn by the distinctiveness of his portraits. The leaves entwined across the faces of women wearing long braids and bold threaded hair, the faces that had squared sections extracted with birds or apples in them… I thought it was peculiar and interesting, and i wanted to find out more. So, here we are.
His series of portraitures engages the subject of the female body. The figure is re-framed as a medium for the expression of elegance, glamour and hauteur. Eze’s embellishment of this bare body recalls the ancient practice of bodily decoration in the south-eastern region of Nigeria. Through this aesthetic approach to figuration, we see a different conception of the function of the body, placed as a mnemonic device, and conceived as a platform for exploring the meaning of identity, very much akin to contemporary Tattoo culture.
In his approach to the female form, Eze focuses on the contours, lines, proportion and shapes embodied in the frictional frame of his subject, thereby unleashing energy and power. Common with his compositions are the motifs of exotic birds, along with details of the study of fruits and vegetation.
His piece of art called ‘Everyday’ typifies how a man regards a wife he sees every day. He sees nothing special about her, after all, he comes back home every day to see her and eventually she is like a piece of furniture.
‘Scrutiny and Surrender’ documents how people submit themselves to all manner of scrutiny at the airport, in the quest to travel abroad in search of greener pastures. But Eze asks, “Are the pastures any greener elsewhere?
A merge of text and images, acrylic, large scale painting with textual fragments in a conceptual approach that examines the boundaries between traditional and contemporary Nigerian culture.
Joseph Eze is a mixed media Nigerian artist who incorporates painting, sculpture, and installation techniques, and who is also very interested in Architecture and Design, as well as the fashion industry. His brush movements dwells on bold colors and he’s inspired to create things that will speak beyond his mouth.