We Ain't dED Yet

01 SEPTEMBER 2023 - 17 SEPTEMBER 2023
Freedom to Dream 3
Freedom to Dream 3
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3. Ken Nwadiogbu

Freedom to Dream 3

Charcoal and acrylic on cardboard paper.
This is a unique work.
Signed on verso. 
Produced in 2022.
Unframed dimensions: 41cm x 41cm.
COA provided by the artist upon acquisition. 


Artist's Studio, UK, 2022
Freedom Protesters, Thinkspace Gallery, LA, 2022
We ain't dED yet, Gallery 46, London, 2023


£1,200 - 1,800

This auction has now ended

We Ain't dED Yet (3/25)



“I recall an article I encountered, bearing the headline "FINALLY FREE." It sparked a reflection on the significance of freedom and our unending pursuit to liberate ourselves from various burdens: be it pain, debt, memories, obstacles, illness, or the chains of enslavement. The discourse on freedom serves as a poignant reminder of its immeasurable worth, reigniting our resolute commitment to its attainment. Within the realm of Freedom Protesters, my endeavor revolves around crafting a protest tableau utilizing the simplest of protest materials—the humble cardboard paper.” - Ken Nwadiogbu

Ken Nwadiogbu (b. 1994) is a Nigerian multidisciplinary artist, based in Lagos, Nigeria. A trained civil engineer, he soon pivoted to fine art, first embracing hyperrealism and charcoal drawing before expanding his creative horizon to more conceptual works and a wider array of techniques, including acrylic painting, sculpture and installation. His works are inspired by iconic American contemporary art figures such as J.-M. Basquiat, Kehinde Wiley, Toyin Ojih Odutola and Kerry James Marshall.

On Nwadiogbu’s large canvases, stories superimpose themselves in multiple layers. Mixing together hyperrealism with contemporary elements, he creates ingenious, politically charged visual illusions that deploy a singular outlook, daring the audience to question their own, for “value lies in the perspective”. Defending an art that can be at once smart and fun, he explores grave matters in intense colors and playful cut-outs, addressing altogether black representation and identity, displacement, and socio-political control.

Popularly known as KenArt, Nwadiogbu is credited for introducing the “Contemporealism” movement and was named by Guardian Life as one of the most “Outstanding Personalities” in Nigeria. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious The Future Awards Africa in recognition of his contributions to the Nigerian arts community. A core focus for him is to inspire and encourage young creatives. He does this through public speaking and mentorship, as well as through his creative companies. He nurtures an art collective called ‘Title Deed’ and co-found Artists Connect NG, the largest artist gathering in Nigeria, created to foster creativity, collaboration and community.

His works have been exhibited in a number of galleries including Omenka Gallery (‘Insanity’ group show, Lagos, 2016), Retro Africa (‘In the making’, Abuja, 2018), Bricklane Gallery (‘Contemporealism’, London, 2019), Bomb Factory Art Foundation (‘Journey Mercies’, London, 2021) and Thinkspace (‘Ubuntu’, LA, 2021). His works were showcased at ART X Lagos on several occasions, at 154 London, and Prizm Art Fair, in Miami. He has worked on multiple projects with respected international brands like Martell Cognac, McMillan Publishers, Flight Logistics, and many others.

Nwadiogbu enjoys expanding his perspective -and ours, rarely ever leaving anything to chance, but rather proceeding from a place of joy, and intentional care. He is constantly revitalizing his practice by challenging modes of Black representation. His oeuvres do not just encompass various forms of painting but most recently transcends into photography, sculpture, installation, NFT and video.

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