“He who does not master the nude cannot understand the principle of architecture” - Michelangelo
Michael Okon from Akwa Ibom State in the coastal southern part of Nigeria has specialized in nude and portrait art for the last six years.
Michael’s studio was filled with amazing art and while we looked through, we noticed that each art told its own story. When asked how he learned to paint, Michael said his friend and mentor Nelson Oku taught him. “He taught me how to paint and I am really enjoying it. I love what I do and my
intentions for my art is for it to go far. I want people to get
to know my art and me.
Michael’s love for art is vividly expressed in his voice, his storytelling and his joy for life. Love is also a great inspiration as embodied by his girlfriend Ify. “My first painting was of my girl Ify. I painted her. She wants to be an artist too and I would love to teach and work with her.”
“I named my favorite painting ‘passion of the lips’ and it’s the most expensive art in this place. It is a mixed media painting. I drew my inspiration for this art from Ify. Whenever I am around her, I get inspired to paint. She makes it all make sense. Sometimes during my low period, she motivates me and makes me see reasons to continue. I studied Mechanical Engineering but my love for art kept me here.”
“If I wasn’t an artist, I would be a fashion designer. I love fashion and I love to see people wear my art,” Michael continues. When asked about current challenges, he said, “Covid-19 is the craziest thing that has ever happened to me. I had lots of art I was supposed to produce and send overseas but due to the pandemic, I had to pause. My other challengeshas to be when I do not produce something that will make people wow. Especially during an exhibition. I feel bad when my art do not turn out fine.”
We can only hope that Michael continues to keep creating beautiful art, one that makes his heart sing.