SWITCH is an initiative that investigates how different roles in conversations impact their context and outcome. In this campaign, Creatives are challenged to step outside of their usual conversation routine by switching between questioner and answerer.
Victor Ubah (born 2000, Lagos, Nigeria) is a visual artist living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. He creates acrylic paintings on canvas that merge one-dimensional backgrounds with expressively geometric cubist elements. He explores the avant-garde art movement, Cubism, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and George Braque, to reimagine his vibrant subjects as multifaceted personalities that exist in a singular social construct.
Intricately rendering the facial expressions of his subjects as a collection of protruding cubist forms, Victor simultaneously employs a naturalistic style to capture their gaze. Victor's works are not only characterised by the adoption of the 20th century movement but also the personal style of each figure, which he meticulously amplifies through the use of rich dark color palettes and bold textile patterns. Adopting simple backgrounds which always seem to reveal the moments of peace and tranquillity, the artist affirms a rich vocabulary of symbolism that offers opportunities to varied thoughts and open dialogues about the immutable and biological society.
Victor held his first solo exhibition in 2021 at Billbrady gallery in Miami titled "LIFES A BEACH"; and recently concluded another solo show titled "HYPNAGOGIC"
with Ojiri Gallery, London. His works have been featured in other group exhibitions
which include, "Disco Nap"; Eligere Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (2022), "Interesting
Identities"; Arushi Gallery, Los Angeles (2022), "To Each Her Own"; New York
(2022), "London's Burning"; RAMP Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2021). He
has participated in. Frieze London (2021), Art X Lagos (2021), Felix Art Fair (2022)
and Art Basel, Switzerland (2023). He completed residencies at Breeder gallery
Greece (2021) and The Foresproject London (2022) and in collections including The
Rescos collection and Matthew Kennedy collection in Minneapolis and others.
QUESTION TO LISTEN
Victor Ubah answers questions raised by GAHSP .
Do you reflect your environment or your fantasy more intentionally in your work?
My environment a lot because I feel it reflects on how we perceive everything.
Is observation or expression more challenging in the artistic process?
I really don't find either challenging because being creative is also a way of expressing and narrating more of our observations.
Does color limit the impression of a painting on a viewer?
Not at all because I feel colors mimic things through the painting. It allows the viewer not just only to see it as it is but more artistically.
Do your paintings become an integrated part of your environment?
How does your identity evolve throughout the painting of one work?
I feel in every piece, as an artist, is self-discovery and growth. Creating allows to tap into that evolvement.
How do you wish to shape contemporary culture vs. how do you wish contemporary culture will shape you?
I feel contemporary culture should be more accessible and freely able to tap into the creative spirit. On the other hand, I wish contemporary culture will shape me in a very positive and more creative way.
QUESTION TO ANSWER
Victor Ubah poses questions he would want to be asked, and then answers them himself.
How should people perceive art?
I feel art should be more of an expression, connecting with society and environment.
Is art just a hobby?
Art isn't just hobby but a conduit for growth and transformation.
How can some one navigate themselves in the art industry?
I feel it is more about networking, and putting out your art for people to see. Also, going to art shows.
Written and Edited by Julia Horvath
Image Courtesy of Victor Ubah