Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Anatomy of Beauty ~ Imo Nse Imeh

Imo Nse Imeh is a Nigerian American scholar of African art and aesthetics. Imo's parents hail from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Although he is American-born, Imo’s Ibibio heritage has become a central point of reference and contemplation. Thus the Southern part of Nigeria plays a bit part in his inspiration and vision.

There is something about his art work, that is so out of the ordinary, it makes one look beyond the soft strokes of his brush into the meanings behind the figures and faces. I love how he paints stoic faces and tranquil bodies, paired with tortured forms, leaving the viewer with the notion of pain, but at the same time, survival. Imo explains his art as him imagining the world as comprising a conceptual fattening house, in which the isolated black body realizes trauma and devastation, but then emerges with insight, acuity and spiritual prowess.

For me, it is important to show the suffering that black people have endured through the history of time but it is even more important to show that through such trauma we gained knowledge, power and depth which no one can take away from us. This is why i think Imo nse imeh's work is devastatingly relevant to the world we live in today. It reminds us of where we came from, but at the same time shows us the beautiful places that we are going to.