MATTHEW EGUAVOEN


MATTHEW EGUAVOEN was born in 1988 in EDO STATE, Nigeria. He currently lives and works in Lagos.


Matthew Eguavoen attended the University of Port Harcourt, where he attained a Bachelors in Science for Civil Engineering and Structures. In his final year at the university of Port Harcourt, he decided to pursue his passion for creating art through self-study, where he continued his artistic development.

A full-time contemporary painter, he depicts his figurative and portrait subjects using a combination of oil paint, acrylic paint, charcoal, and graphite pencils to document stories that encompass the emotions and demeanor of his muse to the viewer of his work. Eguavoen uses his work to address the societal, economic, and political views across the complex intersectionality that Nigerians face in different facets of life. The constraint of societal ideology about life, on human existence and survival.

As an artist he is deeply concerned about the impact of his work on his immediate environment and the world at large and that is why themes of his art centers around the societal, political and economic imbalance taking over humanity happiness, swamping over the essence of society.


Eguavoen’s works are featured in collections across West Africa, USA, Europe, and North America.

More

Solo Show
2022
Egbe Okpa, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France

Group Show
2022
Classique !, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France
Smiling and Suffering, Out of Africa, Barcelona, Spain
Artgenève art fair, Geneva, Switzeland
1-54 Paris Art Fair, France
Investec Cape Town, South Africa
AKAA Art Fair, Paris, France
1-54 London Art Fair, UK
Expo Chicago, Chicago, USA

2021
40 under 40 artistes, What if the World Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
I No Be Gentleman (at all o), Ada Accra Gallery, Accra, Ghana
Live in color, Mitochdria Gallery, Texas, USA

2020
Art in Medicine, Art for Mental Health, Online exhibition

2019
African Art exhibition, Art Number 23

WHAT ARE THE MESSAGES YOU WANT TO CONVEY THROUGH YOUR WORK?

With my work, I want to address the societal, political and economic issues that surround me in Nigerian society and in Africa in general. I try to draw how the economic and social situation impacts my models brings them to who they are when I meet them. I try to use my painting to talk about the problems of everyday life of the Nigerian people, I try to create awareness, to address all sorts of issues related to my home country Nigeria, and to Africa. 
I want people to think when they look at my work, to ask themselves what is the state of mind of my models and what is in their heads. I try to capture the eyes of my subjects, which I think are very important because the eye is the window to the soul. It is through the eyes that the problems appear to the audience. 
I am really inspired by the theme of mental slavery and strict slavery in Nigeria, where I was born, but also in Africa. I try to make people aware of how far Africans have come. 
I try to show that Africa also has its own fashion. That's why my models are dressed flamboyantly, I try to show the viewer that we don't wear leaves. There are also lives in Africa and people who are trying to be free and change their lives.

WHAT ARE YOUR SOURCES OF INSPIRATION? 
Most of my inspiration is in Nigeria and Africa, mainly around issues that concern my people and my generation. I look for inspiration a lot because I want to create, I want to be an artist, so I get inspired everyday to be able to use my voice through my art to create awareness in the viewer. I try to get people to see these things because not many people know what is happening in Africa and Lagos.   

WHAT DOYOU WANT TO SHARE WITH YOUR VIEWERS?
My works are a part of me because I put a lot of myself into the creative process and I leave a part of myself in my paintings. It is this part that I want to share. I want the viewers to enter the work, to create a kind of image in the same way as when I made the work. I want them to feel what I felt during my creative process. 

WHO ARE THE PERSONS REPRESENTED IN YOUR ARTWORKS?

Most of the people represented in my works are models and images that I source online, particularly Instagram. Sometimes it’s people I know like friends or family and sometimes they are strangers to me. I try to use images that speak to me, where I see the issues I want to talk about.



160x120cm, Matthew Eguavoen
130x100cm, Matthew Eguavoen
130x100cm, Matthew Eguavoen
130x100cm, Matthew Eguavoen
130x100cm, Matthew Eguavoen
120x180cm, Matthew Eguavoen
180x155cm, Matthew Eguavoen
122x185cm, Matthew Eguavoen
120x120cm, Matthew Eguavoen
160x120cm, Matthew Eguavoen
125x182cm, Matthew Eguavoen
180x155cm, Matthew Eguavoen
100x150cm, Matthew Eguavoen
160x120cm, Matthew Eguavoen
130x100cm, Matthew Eguavoen
182x122cm, Matthew Eguavoen