Uzo Njoku

Uzo Njoku

About the Artist

Uzo Njoku (b. 1996) is a visual artist working with oil paint, acrylic, and elements of collage.  She was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the United States at the age of 7.  As a student at the University of Virginia, she is working towards her B.A. in Studio Art and preparing for graduate school.

Her current works explore the current landscape of contemporary figurative and nude paintings, particularly women of color, due to the salient topics and issues of the 21st century -- from race, gender to privacy, social media, and love.  "We are living in a time that's ripe with debate over what it means to be either a female or a woman of color."  Uzo uses her works to empower women of color by giving them uncommon poses and intriguing facial expressions.  Each figurative painting speaks to the present, and offers glimpses into the future. 

She successfully captivates moments of power by combining her Nigerian culture with her American upbringing.  Her use of Ankara fabrics (very detailed and vivid fabrics that are common in West Africa) are very important parts of her works.  Ankara print fabrics are made through an Indonesian wax-resistant dyeing technique called batik.  In this technique, methods are used to "resist" the dye from reaching all the cloth, thereby creating a pattern.  For Uzo, her use of Ankara fabrics symbolize tradition and high quality fashion in West Africa.  She incorporates the fabric by physically weaving the patterns with a painting method that is more universally practiced.

**Resume available upon request**

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