Arts + Culture

These 10 Nigerian Hyper-Realist Artists Will Trick Your Eyes

These Nigerian paintings and drawings are so realistic that they'll make you question whether they're photos or not.

This is the type of group show that could make you call everything you see into question. Can you believe it even though you've seen it? Maybe that's why it's called "Insanity". The ongoing show of hyper-realistic work from Nigerian artists is at the Omenka Gallery in Ikoyi, Lagos, and will be open until Dec. 3. It features work from ten different artists from around the country. This isn't the first time Naija hyper-realism has taken over, however.


Works by Kelvin Okafore and  Oresegun Olumide have also gone viral recently. The show may only scratch the surface. There are more local artists out there doing the thing, including Nigerian creatives like Jeffrey Appiatu  and Akorede Olanrewaju, and even some Ghanaians such as Enam Bosokah. Although it may not be comprehensive, the show definitely shines an important light on a strong movement.

Insanity is actually a collection of artists, and they plan to make this an annual event with different artists each year. "Hyperrealism has not yet been put on the radar in Nigeria," says Ken Nwadiogbu, one of the organizers and artists in the show. "People are not yet used to it. So bringing such technique and execution will, no doubt, create an echo."

Browse a collection or works by artists in the show below. (Note that it's not always the artist photographed with their work.)

Ayo Filade

This painting is definitely the most intense of the collection.

Arinze Stanley

Another intense piece, this one made with charcoal pencil.

Did you see him at the exhibition today? @cassper_og #insanityexhibition

A photo posted by Arinze Stanley ?? (@harinzeyart) on

Oscar Ukonu

Sometimes all you need is a ballpoint pen. Ukonu proves it's about the skill, not the tools.

Chiamonwu Ifeyinwa Joy

Still finding it hard to believe this isn't a photo. Joy is the only female artist in the show.

Isimi Taiwo

Taiwo's work is more on the abstract side, making it resemble digital art over photography.

I can't even begin to explain how successful d opening of dis exhibition was. This is a breakthrough and a strong foundation for practicing artists dat r not on d contemporary level but young n passionate. This is a great introduction into d belief dat hyperrealism is now here to make a great impact n to stay in d Nigerian market. Big personalities, top collectors, young artists, fans, media etc were all there. I thank d sponsors of d exhibition @frotgroup for making this happen ? and renowned @omenkagallery for putting dis together. I'm blessed with d opportunity to exhibit with these great talents @kenartng @sheyi_pencilz @foladavid @oscarukonu_art @alexpeter_art @radelart @ayo_draws @harinzeyart @chiamonwu.i.j_creations . One of d happiest days of my life ??? . The exhibition runs till 9th of December so u can still go there to check out all d amazing works whenever u want. Venue: omenka gallery 24 modupe alakija, ikoyi crescent ikoyi lagos Follow me on facebook : isimi taiwo.c Instagram: isimi_taiwo Bbm: 79c497a4 Whatsapp: 08036202529 #worldofpencils @artxlagos #artist_help #hyperrealism #exhibition #picoftheday

A photo posted by art by isimi taiwo (@isimi_taiwo) on

Ken Nwadiogbu

Nwadiogbu takes that hyper-realistic talent and places it into unnatural settings.

Sheyi N. Alabi

A serene and soft piece made with colored pencil.

Fola David

David uses hyper-realism to bring a powerful, natural image to life.

Are my eyes deceiving me... I think I need my glasses. INSANITY!!!

A photo posted by Fola David (@foladavid) on

Alex Peter Xtinealexpen

Xtinealexpen unveiling the reality below the surface.

Moments at the Exhibition? My art nd I? "Twist O' Fate" #insanityexhibition #pyrography #Art ? @ayo_loves_photography_toot

A photo posted by Alex Peter Xtinealexpen?? (@alexpeter_art) on

Raji Bamidele

Bamidele was the only one to create work on unconventional surfaces.

News Brief
Podcast cover art.

Bobi Wine's Release Detailed in Latest Episode of 'The Messenger'

Trauma is the topic on the podcast's latest episode: "The Ballot or The Bullet."

The latest episode of The Messenger is something to behold.

Created by Sudanese-American rapper Bas, The Messenger throws the spotlight on the thunderous circumstances many African countries face, with a close focus on Ugandan politician Bobi Wine.

In his most recent traumatic experience, Wine and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi were released from a nearly two-week military house arrest following the ruling of a Ugandan court. Keeping up with current events and circumstances that Wine finds himself in, the latest episode of the podcast recounts the traumatic events that led to Wine's very public abuse and eventual house arrest.

Upon his release, Wine spoke with The Messenger and had this to say, "I want to remind the world that we went in this election knowing how corrupt the staff of the electoral commission is. We saw this through the campaign and the world saw how much was oppressed, how biased and one sided the electoral commission was, and how much it was in the full grip of General Museveni. And therefore we are going to test every legal test, we shall take every legal test. We shall take every legal step. And indeed we shall take every moral and morally proactive, nonviolent, but legal and peaceful step to see that we liberate ourselves. The struggle has not ended. It is just beginning."

Listen to Episode 7 of The Messenger here.

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