Ludovic Nkoth’s Vivid Paintings Capture All of Life’s Intensities

His scenes are drawn not only from memories of lived experiences, but also from imagined ones. “There are many aspects of my everyday life that make it into my paintings: my surroundings, the architecture from my present and my past, all the environments I occupy,” the artist said. “My mood enters every painting I create even when I don’t want to. Over the years, my relationship with painting has grown into an extension of my own existence.”

Nkoth continues to raise the importance of being aware of the current state of the world and its social structures. In his latest body of work, he references musicians and activists, such as Fela Kuti, whose oeuvres have masterfully embodied empowering storytelling and empathized with the plight of the oppressed. Named after some of Kuti’s songs, Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense (2022) depicts a child lovingly held by his seated mother while the father lounges comfortably beside them, and VIP Part 1 (2022) and VIP Part 2 (2022) both portray Black men relaxing next to their motorcycles in a midnight-blue milieu. The inclusion of these references raises thought-provoking questions on power, defiance, and self-determination, situating Nkoth’s works within a wider historical tableau and discourse.

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