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Kelvin Okafor (born 1 November 1985)[1] is a British artist of Nigerian descent. He lives in Tottenham, London, where he grew up.[2]

Okafor was educated at St Ignatius' College in Enfield, where at the age of 15 he began to hone his talent for drawing.[3] He did a Foundation Art & Design course at City and Guilds Art School (2005–06), and went on to study at Middlesex University (2006–09), graduating with a BA degree in Fine Art.[4] Awards he has won include the Catherine Petitgas Visitors Choice Prize, part of the National Open Art Competition.[5]

He draws very lifelike portraits of ordinary people and celebrities using pencil and charcoal.[6] Early pieces included portraits of Amy Winehouse, Mother Teresa, Lauryn Hill, Jamal, Nelson Mandela, Beyoncé, Daniel Craig, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rihanna and Tinie Tempah.[7]

Early lifeEdit

During his studies at St Ignatius' College, at the age of 15 Kelvin Okafor started to recognise his talent in art due to the complimentary expressions he got from his peers and teachers. Kelvin Okafor works at ease in any artistic medium be it sculpture, glass, printmaking, painting and casting. For him to passionately fall in love with art he firstly fell in love with using pencils and how pencils gave him the flexibility to create dynamic textures and tones of colours in his drawings.[8]


  1. ^ "How I became a photo-realistic artist – Kelvin Okafor", Vanguard (Nigeria), 27 December 2012.
  2. ^ Jonathan Jones, "Kelvin Okafor's drawings may look like photographs but are they art?", The Guardian, 31 January 2013.
  3. ^ Cindy Wider, "Interview With Kelvin Okafor: A Rising Star In The Art World",, 7 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Kelvin Okafor", Albemerle Gallery.
  5. ^ Dionne Grant, "Stroke Of Genius: Award-Winning Pencil Artist Kelvin Okafor", The Voice, 26 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Precise pencil artist draws on awards success", Middlesex University, 28 January 2013.
  7. ^ Kelvin Okafor, Middlesex University.
  8. ^ "Artist Spotlight: Kelvin Okafor - Ayiba Magazine". 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2016-06-27.

External linksEdit