Fashion comes first in Matthew Eguavoen’s stylish paintings

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Discussing the elements of the creative process that most inspire him, Matthew comes to the simple conclusion of ‘progress’. Having only started painting in 2018, Matthew’s work has come on leaps and bounds and his style is now as developed, distinct and unique as much more seasoned artists. And, in addition to observing and reflecting on his trajectory so far, Matthew also finds the process of “talking about his works” and being able to share the “ideology” of his work to be particularly invigorating. Interestingly though, Matthew adds that he has discovered that what he perceives to define his work or give it meaning is about “80%” of the time different from the viewer.

In 2021, Matthew started his collectors series, quickly becoming a collection of some of his favorite works to date. “This is work that has to do with Africans regaining their place in the world and stopping letting the color of our skin limit what we can achieve in the world individually and as a people.” Throughout each piece, Matthew shares that he tried to add items “that Africans during slavery were tormented with”, such as boxing gloves and animals. In one of the rooms, a man stands firmly with his legs apart, dressed in a dark green suit, his eyes staring into the distance, a German Shepherd dog held on a leash tight in his grip.

Having recently spent time in Paris for his personal exhibition Egbe Okpa at the Afikaris Gallery, Matthew says visiting its many museums and galleries has “broadened his scope.” And, he hopes to start incorporating his experiences into some of his upcoming works when his busy schedule eventually allows him to stay in the studio longer.


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