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Ken Nwadiogbu (popularly known as KenArt) is a Nigerian born multidisciplinary artist.[1] He calls his method contemporealism – a fusion that is primarily centered around hyper-realism and contemporary art.[2]

Ken Nwadiogbu
Kenechukwu Emmanuel Nwadiogbu
OccupationVisual artist

Early life and educationEdit

He attended the University of Lagos, where he studied Civil and Environmental Engineering. His journey with art began in university, and despite having no formal training, he has pushed to become an interesting young contemporary artist from Nigeria.[3]

Style of artEdit

According to an interview with the website Bored Panda, Nwadiogbu aims to achieve a deeper meaning through his art, one which goes beyond the visually spectacular facade he presents into themes such as gender equality, African cultures, and black power.[4] He also displays with his art Black power as a timely, biting subject in large works with black people of assured attitudes permeating his project’s oeuvre. With newspaper cuts, Nwadiogbu laces his monochrome drawings with contents of cultural revival. He argues that though it seems "our people are protecting African culture, but we are not exactly preserving it".[5] In addition, His works are inspired by some of his personal experiences finding his way through a rough beginning, with people discouraging him from pursuing his passion.[6]

His most recent works include the Kings Diary, a series which presents the different possibilities of African feminism in support of female rights and gender equality.

He uses charcoal and graphite pencil to portray his subjects. Nwadiogbu is the co founder of Artist Connect which had the largest gathering of artists in Nigeria and was held at Lekki Leisure Lake in 2016. He is also the founder of Artland Contemporary Limited.

Nwadiogbu is a self-taught artist who has also made pencil sketches of showbiz personalities including M.I Abaga,[7] Burna Boy,[8] Governor Akinwunmi Ambode,[9]Davido, Swizz Beatz and Don Jazzy among others.

A Voice for #MeTooEdit

According to an interview with CNN,[10] Nwadiogbu's most recent work was a piece for the global #MeToo movement—a work he's so passionate about, he completed it within 24 hours. In the #MeToo piece, two girls are wrapped in nylon, one is depressed and resigned to her fate; the other is angry and determined to push through the barrier. It's an emotional piece, born from thoughtfulness and his passion to give young African girls a voice.

"I want the African girl to be like the second girl (in the painting) who is saying, 'I want to speak out. I want to loud my consciousness. I want to loud who I am."[11]


  • 2016, Insanity[12]- Sponsored by Frot Foundation. Held at Omenka Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • 2017, It's Not Furniture[13] - Sponsored by Temple Management Company. Held at Omenka Gallery,[14] Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • 2017, Finding your Identity - Sponsored by ENACOF. Held at British Council, Abuja, Nigeria.
  • 2017, ARTYRAMA Art Exhibition[15]- Curated by Jess Castellote. Held at Alhaji Bashorun, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • 2018, EMPOWERMENT Exhibition[16] - By Creative Debuts and Nasty Women NYC. Held at Black and White Building, Rivington Street, London
  • 2018, Generation Y[17]- A Contemporary Art Exhibition by Retro Africa. Held at The Exhibition Pavilion, Abuja, Nigeria.
  • 2018, Moniker Art Fair[18]- A Contemporary Art Fair sponsored by Creative Debuts and held at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, Brooklyn, NYC.
  • 2018, Anti Trump Art Show[19]- A contemporary art show about the ‘dangerous racism, sexism and narcissism that flow daily from the White House,' held at the July Rivington Studios, 1 Bath Place, Shoreditch London EC2
  • 2018, Afriuture Exhibition- By Ramati Art Africa in association with the Commonwealth Africa Summit. Held at the Ontario Investment and Trade centre, Toronto, Canada.
  • 2018, Art X Lagos[20]- A Contemporary Art Fair sponsored by Artyrama gallery and held at Civic Center, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • 2019, LAX-SFO[21]- A group exhibition held at Heron Arts, San Francisco, California.
  • 2019, IN THE MAKING[22]- A Contemporary Art Exhibition held at Retro Africa Gallery, Abuja, Nigeria.
  • 2019, LAX-MSY[23]- A group exhibition held at Red Truck Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.


  1. ^ "Ken Nwadiogbu: Nigeria's groundbreaking, hyperrealist artist". CNN. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  2. ^ "Ken Nwadiogbu: Artist Statement". kennwadiogbu official website. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  3. ^ "Hyper-realistic drawings by Kenart". The Spark. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  4. ^ "This Nigerian Artist's Artworks Are So Realistic It's Hard To Believe He Used Nothing More Than A Pencil". Bored Panda. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  5. ^ "It's not furniture… Stepping out with fresh signatures".
  6. ^ "Ken Nwadiogbu: Inside Nigeria's hyperrealist art scene". CNN. 2018-04-06.
  7. ^ "Pencil portrait of MI brings fame to 23-yr-old student artist". Pulse Ng. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  8. ^ "The artist behind burnaboy's 'On a spaceship' album cover art". Pulse Ng. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  9. ^ "UNILAG whizkid unveils art video of Lagos State governor Governor Akinwumi Ambode". Pulse Ng. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  10. ^ "Ken Nwadiogbu: Inside Nigeria's hyperrealist art scene". CNN. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  11. ^ "Ken Nwadiogbu: Inside Nigeria's hyperrealist art scene". CNN. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  12. ^ "We're creating platform for devt of young artists —Frank Momoh - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. 2016-12-17. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  13. ^ Omotosho, Kehinde. "It"s Not Furniture: Exhibition reveals art as a representation of young contemporary individuals". Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  14. ^ "'It's NOT furniture' exhibition opens at Omenka Gallery in Lagos". Visual Magazine. 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  15. ^ Editor, Online (2017-12-09). "Artyrama Hosts Digital Art Gallery". THISDAYLIVE. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  16. ^ Debut, Creative. "Nasty Women Exhibition: Empowerment". Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  17. ^ "Generation Y- A Contemporary Art Exhibition". Retro Africa. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  18. ^ "Moniker Art Fair". Creative Debut. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  19. ^ "Anti Trump Art Show". FAD Magazine. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  20. ^ "Art X Lagos". Artyrama Gallery. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  21. ^ "LAX / SFO Pt. III". Thinkspace Gallery. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  22. ^ "IN THE MAKING". Retro Africa Gallery. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  23. ^ "LAX / MSY". Thinkspace Gallery. Retrieved 2018-08-10.