The Captivating Works of Uzo Njoku

Uzo Njoku’s works rejoice in unions despite her subjects being mostly isolate. Her paintings are a fusion of fine art and design and celebrate the blend of her Nigerian- American cultural upbringing.

Njoku, with skill and a considered softness, creates another harmonious alliance between the human bodies present and the decorative. Once deeply informed by West-African Ankara patterns, Njoku is now making her own patterns so as not to adopt those already in continuation. The patterns in her current works are instead influenced by her subjects and the way they subsist on the canvas. The artist uses them as tools to create movement, or as fashions that reveal some about the subjects’ identities. This is particularly true of the female characters that she has always been inclined to paint as a woman herself.

Alone, Together and Beyond is an exhibition of large acrylic and oil paintings by New York based artist Uzo Njoku. Her works take many forms, yet this exhibition focuses in on and showcases Njoku’s painterly skill and keen eye for design. A process of efficient yet fluid production, these works began as clean digital drawings. She considers the digital drawings a soft guideline, both in form and colour. Not too concerned with exact transcription, the works become something entirely different on canvas. The glossy oil and acrylic colours come to evoke feelings of pleasure, vulnerability, and nostalgia.

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Nevah Black Down is enamored by the work of UZO NJOKU and feels compelled to share the work and energy of such a bold artist!

Born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in the USA, Uzo Njoku (b. 1996) is a breakout painter and determined businesswoman set on bridging the gap between fine art and the commercial world of design. Having received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Studio Art in 2019, she is now enrolled in the MFA programme at the New York Academy of Art. Surprisingly, Njoku originally registered to study Statistics at university, yet switched majors as her artistic interests and talents became more apparent. One of Njoku’s art heroes Njideka Akunyili Crosby followed a similar path. This encouraged her to transfer courses, and she has since keenly followed Akunyili Crosby’s successful career.

Njoku, however, considers herself to be coasting in her own lane, paving a path that suits her unique way of working. Due to a lack of funding, Njoku started making and selling prints to financially support herself whilst at college. Her early works were well received and widely collected. Almost overnight, her business came into being.

Since 2017, Uzo Njoku has exhibited extensively in both group and solo shows. Her work has been demonstrated in West Africa, the UK and the USA. Njoku’s most recent exhibit titled ‘Space of My Own’ at Voltz Clarke Gallery in New York was attended by over 300 people.

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