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Collins Obijiaku: An emerging portraitist in search of new postures and perspectives on the African continent

By Navya Pothamsetty

Collins Obijiaku’s portraits are relatively simple: a profile of a single person against a simple background. Born in the Kaduna region in northern Nigeria, the internationally-exhibited, self- taught artist is now based just north of Abuja—the strategically central capital of the nation. The deceptively simplified surfaces of Obijiaku’s creations belie miles of depth beneath the facade of their sartorial expression, and the identities assumed in their skin complexion. Captivated at first glance, the Obijiaku viewer is invited to observe, on closer inspection, how small differences in clothing, posture, and gaze animate two- dimensional portraits to vivid life.