The two mediums Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo couldn't master.
This is an introduction to my work:
I make traditional visual (wall) art with unconventional modern-day art medium. The great masters could make better art than me but could never use the medium I utilise in my creation. Unlike digital art, I am pretty sure that 100 years from now, these works of mine would be completely obsolete.
There is a phrase I have used a thousand times to introduce myself, it is: “I am a contemporary African artist”. Even my father misunderstood that phrase and has accused me of ‘the sin of idolatry’. Even though I don’t create sculptures, the first thing that comes to his mind when he hears of ‘African Art’, is the ancient artefacts (gods of our ancestors). The reason why I choose to describe my work as contemporary is because, it could only have been made within the past 100 years to the next 100 years (this analysis is solely based on the combination of the medium and subject matter). So it was impossible for the great artist of the past to master these medium. The artefacts of Benin are about a thousand years old and some are older than Jesus (like the terracotta heads), but they were the works of their time.
Ballpoint Pen Art:
I started making sketches with a pen while I was in many torturous and boring chemistry lectures. As time when bye, I developed it into an art form and still make lots of quick biro sketches merely out of boredom.
10 years ago, I started a blog dedicated to my biro sketches. At that time, I didn't know how to use Google search and naively thought I was the only artist in the world who draws with pen until the hyperrealistic erotic works of one Juan Francisco Casas went viral. That when I started searching online and discovered a huge community of ballpoint pen artist on Facebook with Jerry Stith (who sometimes seems like a troll) as the administrator. It was a great experience seeing the numerous works of contemporary masters who blew my mind with their advanced artistic skills.
Being a perfectionist, drawing with a biro is the only way I can make a quick sketch because if I try to use a pencil, I would be tempted to adjust the work and erase some parts. When I create my sketches, I never use pencil as a guard (it is not a mix-medium but strictly made of ink). I am able to make very detailed and accurate pencil works too.
Recycled Newspaper Collage:
This is another medium that excites me. Making paper collages has always been fun. To me it feels like a board-game and almost mechanical in nature. Once the concept is conceived, the next stage feels like a game (to see how well I am able to bring all the composition together).
Only last year (2016), it was a great challenge finding the raw materials for these types of works. My intension was to only use old newspapers (never to buy it for the sole purpose of making art) and I couldn’t find them. Unlike when I was young and my father had tens of them piled under the table and in shelf’s, today, he and many others has replaced the newspaper with an android pad or iPad (which is cheaper).
Being a part-time artist, I usually scavenge these old newspapers at my place of work. They are some elderly executives that still have the habits of reading newspapers and they usually abandon them once they are done. If am lucky, I can gather 2 newspapers a month.
Now you understand why I said, there is no way in heaven, earth or the underworld that Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo could have ever mastered using these type of contemporary medium. Although I know, if given the chance, they would figure it out within hours.