Peter Uka

Sasha Bogojev, Juxtapoz, October 1, 2020

Coming from a culture where history is interpreted and passed on through an oral tradition, Peter Uka has decided to channel his talent by painting pictures that tell those stories in insightful, affectionate social chronicles. With classical training in realistic figuration, the images flow straight from memory onto the canvas, sometimes highlighting and necessarily glossing over idiosyncratic imperfections, his deft methods breathing life into dynamic portrayals.


Scenes witnessed while growing up in Nigeria, the bright, surrounding colors and patterns as well as behaviours, mannerisms and local customs are all captured in vibrant, visual narrative. Driven by the imperative to introduce his homeland and culture to the rest of the world, Uka's work also provides a personal emotional link to the life he left behing after moving  to Germany back in 2007 to study at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. The mixture of oversaturated, tropical colors, exaggerated contrasts, and the graphic, journalistic feel of the scenes depicts a view of recent history that has been missing in the global narrarive. Luckily, Peter Uka is determined to recreate those moments on canvas and tell those stories with brush and oil paint to anyone willing to "listen."