Àsìkò is a UK-based Nigerian conceptual artist who explores his ideas within photography and film, and he is represented by MTArt Agency. The stories told through his images are an anthology of his emotional state in intersection with culture and identity. They are a love letter to the African story, celebrating the beauty of diverse stories and womanhood. The artist creates symbolic representations to question culture, beauty, identity and power, and fight against the barriers of patriarchy.
Through the use of constructed storytelling and the application of composition, form and movement, Àsìkò draws the viewer into a conceptual narrative that radiates emotions of strength, defiance but also intrinsic vulnerability and loneliness. His work is constructed in the narrative that straddles between fantasy and reality as a response to his experiences of identity, culture and heritage. It is organic, surreal, emotionally layered, all informed by his life in Nigeria and the history of the African continent as well as his connection to the contemporary world, the now which Àsìkò helps shaping.
Àsìkò explores different aspects of African cultures and their intersection with womanhood. For one of his series ‘ase’, the artist worked with Yoruba women to visualise the divine energy encapsulated within the black woman; their power, their energy, their vulnerability. In ‘Conversations’, he created a set of conceptual images addressing the subject of violence against women and exposing the lasting impact of a patriarchal system that suppresses female expression and sexuality as a tool to ensure its durability.
The artist’s work also got great exposure from recreating the posters of the titular characters of Marvel’s movie ‘Black Panther’, with children. The project commissioned by a prominent London talent and casting agency addressed the need for representation and diversity in the media. ‘As a kid who read comics, Black Panther was one of the very few superheroes I came across. For a child, it is a beautiful thing to see yourself represented in a positive light in pop culture.’ In 2020, the protests for racial equality emphasized the need for structural changes in all sectors of society and emphasized the artist’s quest for diverse representation and equality of opportunities.
Àsìkò’s interest in how cultures visually express themselves led him to present his work in various exhibitions and enter impressive art collections such the Artemizia Foundation. These include the public art projects with MTArt Agency, exhibitions at the Chicago Art Fair, the NOW Gallery, the South Bank, Rele Gallery, the British Film Institute, or at the SeeMe Art Takes Armory exhibition.
Follow Àsìkò on Instagram@asiko_artist