Dennis Osadebe

Nigeria

Incorporating bright colours and a minimal, pop aesthetic, Dennis Osadebe (b. 1991) describes his artistic practice as a “neo” visual style. His mixed media works (digital illustration and acrylic on canvas) portray scenes that are at once surreal and absurd, commonplace and mundane.
His works are inspired by ethnic Nigerian masks, technology and art history. In his works he uses play and provocation to invite viewers to critically think about their world and their place within it.

What do you stand for? What does that say about you?

For me, Neo Africa is a cause worth standing for, and it is also the inspiration behind my current work. In this piece, I have combined both urban and traditional cultures in order to reflect the Nigeria of today, a Nigeria the history of which has produced me as an artist and the forward-moving nature of which continues to influence me every single day. I have also taken a fresh look at the Mask through the use of color, textures and style of production.

Furthermore, I have worked with the sign of the pledge – which relates to “Stand for Something,” the title of the piece.

The Neo Africa movement is one that is near and dear to my heart, connecting back to these questions I ask myself again and again. What is African art? Who gets to define it? What are its limits? And where is it going?