PS Picks: Nigerian Creatives and the Art Scene in West Africa

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
18
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and artist Kehinde Wiley unveil Obama's portrait during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery on February 12th, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and artist Kehinde Wiley unveil Obama's portrait during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery on February 12th, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

This PS Pick originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive a print magazine subscription, early access to feature stories, and access to an ad-free version of PSmag.com.

section-break

The next thing to do after spending hours marveling over the beautiful portrait of former President Barack Obama, done by half-Nigerian American artist Kehinde Wiley for the National Portrait Gallery, is to open yourself up the art scene in West Africa, namely Nigeria. Wiley, who was born to a Yoruba father and a black American mother, traveled to both Nigeria and Senegal for artistic inspiration, which eventually led to the creation of his art series titled The World Stage: Africa, Lagos—Dakar. Beyond Wiley, the attention given to artists of West African heritage is growing, though it is not yet enough.

A great hashtag to follow on Twitter, if you are truly interested in art produced in this blossoming scene, is #WeAreNigerianCreatives. Though the hashtag reached a peak at the end of February, it continues to be a great source for discovering Nigerian cartoonists, illustrators, graphic designers, fashion designers, costume make-up artists, and fine artists who dabble in hyperrealism, recycle art, pointillism, and pretty much every type of art under the sun. Besides being a great way to showcase their talent to a broader audience, the hashtag remains one of the few ways Africans are able to control the narrative and tell their own stories.

This PS Pick originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive a print magazine subscription, early access to feature stories, and access to an ad-free version of PSmag.com.

Member Exclusive

Get Access to Our Exclusive Content

Related