Chinedu Bright Ezeh
Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria
Tell us about yourself
I was born in the Eastern part of Nigeria, Enugu State precisely on 19 October, 1986. I obtained my National Diploma(OND) Fine arts from Fed. Poly. Oko in 2008 and as well obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Education / Fine and Applied Arts (2013). I derive joy in doing arts which are painting, drawing, illustrating, photography, reading listening to music and watching cartoons at leisure.
What kind of art do you do?
I do realism. My choice of mediums are oil color, acrylic, charcoal, and watercolor on canvas, paper, and walls. I also do digital art and photography, etc.
How did you get started & how long have you been doing it?
I started at a tender age although I couldn’t continue then because my parents wanted me to become a medical doctor or an engineer. However, the love I have for art keeps me moving. At the point of going into the higher institution they were able to understand, and they gave me their full support and I was able to major in Arts. Thanks to them, I have been practicing professionally since 2008.
What or who inspired you?
I have an uncle named Nnamdi Okonkwo (Sculptor) who lives in USA, who in a way got me inspired to become an artist, even though I am prowess in drawing as a child. It all happened when I visited his mother on school break in Enugu State, I was deeply engulfed when I saw his paintings hanging all over the walls in their sitting room. It was then that my interest became stronger to become an artist. Currently, my environment also inspires me a lot because I see stories and beauty in it. I like studying the works of great masters of our time who work on hyper-realism.
How do you work?
I love working in a quiet and cool environment while listening to a gospel songs or blues songs.
How has your practice changed over time?
I used to paint portraits and do pencil portraits for clients, then I got to understand that art is beyond that. So, I started telling stories of what happens within my environment in an aesthetic form. Furthermore, I see my art as a voice that speaks for those that can’t speak for themselves.
Do you pursue themes?
Yes, I do. I derive my themes from the events and happenings that occur in my environment. I paint vehemently to pass messages through my art which are centered on a set theme.
Do you have a series you would like to highlight & tell us about?
Yes, I have worked on a series on the importance of early child education which was inspired by Nelson Mandel’s quotes on education which was centered on the rural areas in Nigeria as a case study. Basically, most schools in the rural areas lack infrastructure, good equipment, and power supply (electricity). Even at their homes there is no power supply, etc. This can be seen in my paintings titled: Yes I can 1, Yes I can 2, Hope, The Future I See and Our Way Forward and others. These paintings show what most children are facing in detriment to their education.
Is your life expressed in your art or vice versa?
Like I said, my environment inspires me a lot in my art. I heard a lot of experience as I was growing up such as inadequate environment, lack of good equipment for educational purpose, lack of power supply, and the likes. All this are what I am introducing in my art. I believe that there is still hope for my country, so I paint stuff that I mentioned above in an aesthetic form to serve as a voice.
What message would you like to convey through your art?
Using Nigeria as a case study, Nigeria is a country that has as a lot of resources like minerals, human and the likes. There is a lot of negligence on the area of adequate environment for the growth of this great nation. Therefore, my art is centered on this areas that needs the attention of the government. Even as I want my works to beautiful I still makes them to have a strong message it is conveying.
What’s integral to your work as an artist?
The inherent bases on my work is my environment. I always have that dream as a person where my environment possesses those adequate infrastructures that is needed for the functioning of my society.
What has been a seminal experience in your career?
Actually, it was when my parents decided to train me in the university in Art, that was a major breakthrough for me. Now that I am a full-time artist, I realize that art needed more attention, understanding, and to follow your instinct in making your art unique. To become a successful artist, is both an intellectual and monetary aspect.
What is your favorite piece from your collection?
Frankly, I don’t have a favorite piece because whenever I am done on a piece and I am ready to start another I channel my love and try to do better on it. So, my next unpainted piece is usually my favorite.
Where does your inspiration come from when you are working?
Whenever I am working on a piece, I usually get inspired from my environment which is centered to convey a particular message. While working, I make sure I concentrate on the message. With this I keep working, knowing that at the end of it my set goal is being achieved. I also listen to gospel songs, it makes me to know that I am doing the right thing.
What’s that best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It was an advice my mom gave to me when it seemed that I was not making any head way with my art and I was filled with fear. She said that God created you in His image and that I am special, that is why He gave me this gift and that I should believe in Him and myself, that I can do all things through God who strengthens me. Since then I stopped being afraid. This has always kept me moving.
What obstacles have you faced as an artist?
Its knowing the right way to start participating in international exhibitions and also to have more people view my works through social media. I am making head way on that now.
Professionally, what is your dream project?
My goal is to be a great renowned artist of our time, to be an inspiration to our generation, and to reach out to people positively through the message my paintings convey. I want my paintings to be internationally recognized and to be display in famous museums all over the world. My dream project is to own big art galleries all over the world and have a big art school where children that are gifted in art can come and they are nurtured to harness their full potentials.
What obstacles have you faced as an artist?
It was how to get the right channel to market my works. Thanks be to God for His grace, it has been a thing of the past to a good extent. Lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
I want to say this to you reading this; support your child who wants to be an artist on time, learning at a tender age will make them become a professional sooner.