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Matthew Eguavoen

Matthew Imuetiyan Eguavoen, born in 1988 in Edo State, Nigeria, is a notable figure in the contemporary art scene. Renowned for his thought-provoking and emotionally charged works, Eguavoen has established himself as a significant voice in modern African art. His journey from an engineering background to a self-taught artist showcases his dedication and passion for creative expression.

Raised in a culturally rich environment, Eguavoen initially pursued a traditional career path. He attended the University of Port Harcourt, where he achieved a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and Structures. Despite this, his innate passion for art was undeniable. In a bold move, Eguavoen shifted his focus to art in his final year of university, dedicating himself to self-study in artistic development. This decision marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey in the world of art.

Eguavoen's art is characterized by its expressive nature and depth. He skillfully uses a combination of oil paint, acrylic paint, charcoal, and graphite pencils to create striking portraits and figurative works. His art transcends traditional portraiture, delving into themes of gender, race, and history with a focus on Nigerian and African contexts. Eguavoen's ability to capture the emotional and psychological essence of his subjects sets his work apart, making each piece a story in itself.

A central aspect of Eguavoen's work is his exploration of societal issues, particularly mental health. He addresses the stigma surrounding mental health in African societies, especially depression, through his art. Eguavoen's paintings often reflect the complexities of love, heartbreak, societal pressures, and personal aspirations, resonating with a broad audience. Additionally, he explores the impacts of slavery in Africa, the diminishing of traditional values, and the influence of Western culture.

Eguavoen's works have been featured in collections across West Africa, the USA, Europe, and North America. His participation in international exhibitions like AKAA Paris in 2022 and his debut solo show in the UK have further solidified his status as an influential contemporary artist. His art not only appeals to art connoisseurs but also speaks to a global audience, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries.

Matthew Eguavoen represents a new wave of African artists who are redefining the landscape of contemporary art. His journey from a civil engineer to a self-taught artist is inspiring, showcasing the transformative power of following one's passion. Through his art, Eguavoen continues to contribute significantly to the dialogue on contemporary African art, making a lasting impact on the art world.

Matthew Eguavoen's story is one of resilience, passion, and transformation. His unique artistic voice and commitment to addressing social and cultural issues through his art make him a beacon in the world of modern African art. As he continues to create and inspire, Eguavoen's legacy as a pioneering contemporary artist from Nigeria is sure to grow.

2022 Akaté, PM/AM Gallery, London, United Kingdom 
Egbé Okpá, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France 

The New African Portraiture. Shariat Collections, Kunsthalle Krems, Vienna, Austria 
Art x Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria 
AKAA Art fair, Paris, France 
Shout Plenty, African Artists’ Foundation, Lagos, Nigeria 
Smiling and Suffering, Out of africa Gallery, Barcelona, Spain 
1-54 Paris, Paris, France Expo Chicago, Chicago, United States of America 
Artgenève, Geneva, Switzerland 
Investec Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa 
40 under 40 artists, What if the World Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 
I No Be Gentlemen (at all o), Ada Accra Gallery, Accra, Ghana 
Live in color, Mitochondria Gallery, Texas, United States of America 
Art in Medicine, Art for Mental Health, Online exhibition 
African Art exhibition - Art Number 23

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