Preoccupied with Things Left Behind: On Three Nigerian Artists
In MOMUS' new article, journalist Ayodeji Rotinwa lists Nigerian-born painter Peter Uka, among others, as one of the few artists who is indeed preoccupied with things left behind. Uka, whose closest childhood ties to Bernue, has spent more than two decades in Germany, where he continued his art studies before settling in Cologne, left home young but without his family: his self-taught artist father, his mother, his grandfather, who was a woodcarver and farmer, and his potter grandmother. The artist considers family and intergenerational relations differently. “It’s always about what we lose. What we leave behind,” Uka told Ayodeji in March over a strained internet connection. These artists collectively attempt to remember and preserve as the paint, assemble, and tell stories to fill a personal vacuum of history and—even if unintentionally—sociocultural and political voids in Nigeria.