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.
After our very successful exhibition “Hope Ratio” in June 2020, we partnered up for the second time with UBP in Monaco and created an exhibition called “A Brave New World” with eight MTArt Agency artists. In June 2020, we partnered up with UBP and exhibited for the first time the work of our artists in UBP’s beautiful space in Monaco on the theme of hope and sustainability. Like last year in 2020, our show addresses key topics that MTArt Agency and its artists feel very passionate about. “A Brave New World” tackles the issues and challenges that our world is facing and how as human beings we interact with these and our environment. Here are a few glimpses of our new exhibition featuring artists Asiko, Andrea Tyrimos, Ben Cullen Williams, Elisa Insua, Jesu Moratiel, Leo Caillard, Shana Wilson, Tiffany Bouelle and Claire Luxton. The exhibition is from January 2021 until August 2021. More information here.
Teaming up with The Crown Estate, MTArt Agency has incorporated exciting artworks in streets and shops that have struggled since the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to keep the area beautiful and inspiring, artists Léo Caillard and Àsìkò have provided artistic responses to activate the area. Asiko’s works adorn hoardings by the Royal Academy whilst Caillard’s piece takes over a shop front on Conduit Street, nestled among luxury brand names and restaurants. Both artists’ work feature strong, powerful women, projecting presence and inclusivity.
At the release of Marvel’s movie Black Panther, Àsìkò was commissioned by the Looks Like Me Talent Agency to recreate the movie posters with kids. The artist used this project as a way to further challenge beauty standards, to empower young children and to address the need for representation and diversity in the media.
Artist Àsìkò, floral designer Jo Wise and makeup artist Jade Soar teamed up to create a photo series exploring womanhood and ageing in our current cultural climate. This collaborative project was exhibited at the South Bank in London and featured on the BBC and the Huffington Post.
We put together a hope-themed art exhibition thanks to Sookspaces with curator Mary Ahearn that celebrates the role that art plays into our lives and our hearts. Featuring Delphine Diallo, Tiffany Bouelle, Amber Vittoria, Asiko, Andrea Tyrimos, David Aiu Servan-Schreiber, Claire Luxton and Léo Caillard.
Follow Àsìkò on Instagram@asiko_artist