Ludovic Nkoth’s vivid paintings capture all the intensities of life

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

Nkoth continues to stress 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 works have masterfully embodied empowering and empathetic storytelling 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 its seated mother while the father reclines comfortably beside them, and VIP Part 1 (2022) and VIP Part 2 (2022) both depict black men relaxing next to their motorcycles in midnight blue surroundings. The inclusion of these references raises thought-provoking questions about power, challenge and self-determination, situating Nkoth’s works within a larger historical picture and discourse.

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