Monday, July 15, 2024

Nigerian Artist, 91, Honored at Smithsonian for Reimagining Crucifixion

Bruce Onobrakpeya’s Home and Studio: A Fusion of Art and Culture in Lagos

The renowned Nigerian artist Bruce Onobrakpeya, known for his pioneering work in visual arts, is currently being celebrated in a major solo exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. His home and studio in Lagos serve as a testament to his creative genius, filled with sculptures, paintings, and murals that showcase his unique artistic vision.

Onobrakpeya, a key figure in Nigerian modernism, gained prominence as part of the influential “Zaria Radicals” collective in the 1950s, dedicated to reclaiming Nigerian artistic practices. His works, such as the innovative “Stations of the Cross” series, reimagine Christian narratives with African symbols and traditions, challenging colonial influences on Nigerian culture.

Despite facing criticism and controversy, Onobrakpeya’s art has triumphed, garnering international acclaim and recognition. The artist’s commitment to blending African heritage with contemporary art forms underscores his belief that art should serve as a tool for local development and empowerment.

As his exhibit continues to dazzle audiences in Washington, D.C., Onobrakpeya remains rooted in his homeland, using his global experiences to enrich and uplift his local community. His story is a testament to the power of art to transcend boundaries and inspire generations.

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