Ken Nwadiogbu, born 1994, popularly known as KenArt, is a Nigerian born Multidisciplinary Artist and the Pioneer of Contemporealism- a fusion that is primarily centered around Hyper-Realism and Contemporary art. Nwadiogbu believes that the society speaks- This voice inspires his art, which evaluates, interrogates and challenges socio-political structures and issues within the society.
In his reply to this society, he is able to inspire one or two people to also re-valuate their socio-political structures as we know it.
The desire to change his society and the way people think is what drives him to create art every day. Gender equality, African cultures, and Black power are a few aspects of his current research and artistic practice.
Ken Nwadiogbu Full Biography and Profile
Ken Nwadiogbu was born in Lagos, Nigeria and holds a B.Sc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His art career started in the university, and with no formal training, has pushed him to become one of the most interesting young contemporary artists from Nigeria, creating works that question life- calling out some of the problems and becoming very grounded in human consciousness.
Nwadiogbu has been featured in lots of local and international group exhibitions and fairs, Nominated in Highly esteemed national award shows, been televised and publicized on different broadcast, radio, print and online platforms as well as inspiring and encouraging young creatives through public speaking appearances. He founded the fast-growing creative companies; Artland Contemporary Limited and KINGS Management, and co-founded Artists Connect NG, the largest Nigerian artist gathering that takes place at Lekki Leisure Lake, in Lagos, Nigeria.
To Nwadiogbu, Art is indeed timeless, it is his solace and hiding place, a safe haven he has found to be devoid of restrictions, boxes and boundaries.
Ken Nwadiogbu Story
Earlier in my life, I used to envision myself as an Engineer – well, most kids in Nigeria want to be Engineers because of the monetary gains – so I got into the University to study Civil Engineering. During my study there, I stumbled upon an artist who was creating a portrait of the Dean of my university at that time. I couldn’t resist the urge to go back and read about art. Research turned to addiction, addiction turned to love.
I never studied art, or had any formal training in visual art, so I’m a bit rusty on this subject. Though, I can tell you what the infrastructure is like for artist without any formal training in visual arts in Africa; and it’s a pretty rusty infrastructure indeed. Some galleries around Africa have started to open up to possibilities that being formally trained in visual art in an institution isn’t the only criteria for practicing art or for growing into a professional artist. Hence, artists of my calibre are given the opportunity to showcase and still make a living from visual art while some leave Africa to find a better system that can accept them as professional artists.
Hyperrealism was the reason I got drawn to art. It looked completely impossible and I loved the challenge. From trying to understand how, you start to find why, and then it speaks to you in ways that is unique. It’s new here in Africa, and it’s a language of art that is very amusing to the world- if done right. So yes, it was my first love as an artist and as it grew in me, I saw more ways to express myself and change the world, one art at a time.
I’m always inspired by the society. I believe the society speaks, and we all listen. It’s my job not just to listen, but to reply the society. This voice inspires my art- which evaluates, interrogates and challenges socio-political structures and issues within the society. In my reply to this society, I am able to inspire one or two people to also re-evaluate their socio-political structures as we know it. The desire to change my society and the way people think is what drives me to create art every day.
I work at night, always. You could tag me NOCTURNAL. I sleep or have my meetings or studio visits in the day. And at night, I’m always active to work; because it’s always quiet, the music from my playlist wrafts round the studio and I get lost in my creative process.
I just want the world to listen. I want the world to see what I create. To showcase my works around the world. To speak, to change, and to learn.