ANA Talks with Nigerian Artist, Emmanuel Dudu

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Emmanuel Dudu is an artist from Nigeria, He has participated in twenty-six group exhibits. He is currently showing in a solo exhibition, “Enlightened” Nomadic Gallery, Lagos.

A.S: Your latest exhibition is very diverse in style and inspiration. Can you share the reason behind that? 

E.D: It is important to note that world activities and real-time information has changed the way artists reason globally, this has broadened artistic view and how they engage their audience. I am perhaps lucky to have been able to practiced during this era of easy and radical “cross pollination”. So my works ranging from objective to subjective rendition with social and political undertone as well as the modernist mixed media repurpose material composition are arranged to allow art enthusiasts an insight of the impact of globalization in my creative journey with a level of chronological accuracy.

Leader of the year, 2023, Mixed Media, 107 x 122cm
Image courtesy of Nomadic Gallery

A.S: What would you like your audience to take away from your expansive body of work. 

E.D: First, I want my audience to understand that there is no given or specific art material that an artist must use to express his or herself, since the medium used is of secondary relevance. What matters most is the message the artist succeeds in sending. To me this idea is arguably the catalyst for wider exploration of  unconventional materials in picture making. Even though the works under review are self explanatory, they still give room for viewership participation as well as interpretation, aligning the  thoughts of both the viewer and the artist.

A.S: What is your favorite art piece and can you explain why?

E.D: For this exhibition, “The Sage” happens to be my favorite, since it is Stands at the middle of my art in terms of handling, to me it is the peak of my objective rendition and the beginning of my subjective style.

The Sage, 2021, Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 106.7cm
Image courtesy of Nomadic Gallery

A.S: How do you begin your process for creating a piece?

E.D: It all starts with the thought process, a well thought out idea  culminates into shorter rendition time, however with repurposed materials, the idea is often suggested by the material, I only control the process. So basically thoughts, sketches then rendition, but when repurposing it becomes complicated.

A.S: What artist would you say is your biggest inspiration in your career so far?

E.D: Earlier as an Art student, my biggest inspiration was from Mr Sam Ovraiti, his chiefly use of colors coupled with his wallowing painting knife application was a milestone I sincerely hope to be able to archive with time, but as my art evolved, my true self true self eventually showed up.

Lips and High Service 2, 2020, Repurposed Materials, 91.4 x 76.2cm
Image courtesy of Nomadic Gallery

A.S: What is a piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

E.D: I will advise my younger self that a successful artist is not always the good one but the resilient one. Enduring as an artist allows the artist to find his or her supposed hidden talents, interestingly that same endurance will eventually make the audience see that hidden gift (since it is constantly at their faces), and subsequently contend with it. At least as something unique.

A.S: Do you have a particular style you lean more to than others you have tried?

E.D: Because conventional art materials like pigments are ready-made, it makes it easier for me to work with, however the intrigues of repurposing, the underlying challenges as well as the fulfillment that follows a successful rendition makes me want to tilt towards the mixed media art.

My Guide and I, 2023, Oil on Canvas, 107 x 122cm
Image courtesy of Nomadic Gallery

A.S: Are there any upcoming projects you have that we should look forward to?

E.D: Not really but, I am hoping to explore more  on repurposed materials, attempting  smaller pieces first before advancing to bigger and more ambitious  formats, since bigger formats will entourage more design elements and hopefully better compositions. The outcome will determine my next exhibition.

The artist will be part of the talk, “Upcycling as Art Medium”, an insightful artist conversation with Dudu Emmanuel and Ugo Ahiakwo as speaker which will be moderated by KUKOYI. Saturday, October 21, 2023 at Nomadic Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria.


Azeeza Sanni is the General Manager of Art News Africa. She is a graduate of Middlesex University of Mauritius & Monash South Africa. You can reach her with information/requests on

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