with Patrick Akpojotor
Architectural Silhouettes Play With Perspective in Patrick Akpojotor’s Fragmented Portraits
Combining a love for African masks and the people and buildings of his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria, Patrick Akpojotor (previously) merges the figurative details of faces, shoulders, and arms with the geometric forms of hallways, doors, and staircases. “My surface becomes a playground where forms, colours, perspective, and space comes to play and interact,” he says in a statement. “The use of geometry and architectural elements highlight the influence of the built environment in shaping our memories, experiences, and identities in the world.”
Akpojotor draws on the art historical legacies of Cubist painters who devised a way of breaking up the picture plane into “cubes” or fragments to show multiple sides of an object or figure at the same time. His compositions utilize skewed perspectives, contrast, and color to explore the dynamic relationship between internal and external human experiences, paralleling the interiors and exteriors of architectural spaces and the transformative ways we move between them. He has recently experimented with sculpture, producing steel forms of abstracted arches and steps.
Akpojotor is currently preparing work for a solo exhibition at Allouche Gallery in September. Find more of his work on his website and Instagram.
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Architecture and Bold Geometry Fragment Cubist Portraits by Patrick Akpojotor
In his architectural portraits, Patrick Akpojotor visualizes the exchange between humans and their built environments, whether real or imagined. The artist’s spatial body of work, which explicitly contemplates the relationship between interiority and exteriority, is founded in his childhood in Lagos, a city checkered with traditional, colonial, and contemporary structures where he still lives today. “I saw how a former residential area became a commercial one changing how people interacted with that community,” he says.
Rendered in bold blocks of acrylic, Akpojotor’s paintings encourage introspection as they consider how identities inform the design of single buildings and infrastructure, which in turn shape the people who occupy those spaces. The anthropomorphic structures evoke cubist geometry and illusion, fracturing the body with a staircase, brick chimney, or entire house, and some works shown here, including both “In Memory of the Living” pieces, are self-portraits.
Beyond his surroundings in Nigeria, Akpojotor derives inspiration from ancient African sculptures and masks, particularly “the way the forms are intentionally distorted to pass messages and symbols of their (beliefs),” he shares. “In my work, the way object(s) are placed does not matter. What is important is that the object(s) are represented, and the message is passed.”
Find a collection of Akpojotor’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures on his site, in addition to studio shots and glimpses at works-in-progress on Instagram. (via Juxtapoz)
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