Olisa Nwadiogbu

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Olisa is a painter, sculptor, printmaker, bronze caster and cultural activist. As a multi-media artist; drawing and painting of figures and abstracts provide the basis of his artistic adventures and career. Since artistic vision revolves around a given society, hence the artist, his thrust as one of the nation's consummate artist remains message, entertainment, and nature driven aesthetics.

Specifically, Olisa's works are products of his imagination captured in oil colours, acrylic, watercolours, metal foils, glue, resin, bronze etc. Olisa's works are influenced by Nigerian masters and African sculptures such as Ben Enwonwu, Nsikak Essien etc.. whom he had the privilege to understudy with themes that center on traditional and contemporary concepts in narrative statements influenced by the environment, politics and humanitarian dispositions. Nwadiogbu is an important artist of his generation, whose historically relevant works covering 36 years of artistic practice provide gravitas to the fast paced world of contemporary African art.

For the past few years, Nwadiogbu has found solace in immersing himself in complete abstraction, creating large colorful oil on canvas works which range from two to five meters in width. These expansive works are deftly layered with faces and subtle expressions which are only noticeable on closer scrutiny. Most of these pieces have titles which are based on traditional Igbo idioms and proverbs, representing the artist’s deep dive into traditional forms and cultural philosophy.

It is in abstraction that we see the essence of Nwadiogbu’s artistic freedom. His creativity has been liberated from classic strictures and his intuitive use of color and form represent an immersive articulation which is purely “led by the spirit”. It is in this spontaneous “action-painting” that he uses acrylic, oil, car-paint and collage on canvas as playful expressions of deep socio-political issues. It is in these large abstract works that Nwadiogbu has finally found complete emancipation and a pure creative language which brings him the greatest joy at having arrived home to his true spiritual and artistic identity.

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