Victor Ekpuk reinvents graphic symbols from diverse cultures and time periods in order to form his own personal style of mark making that results in interplay of both art and writing. Through drawing and painting, his style has spanned two different modes. First, there are works in which graphic symbols are densely covering the surface of the work, suggestive of both text and pattern all at once. Second, He creates large-scale abstract work that focuses on one symbol, which challenges him to reduce both forms and ideas to its most basic linear essence.
The line has been central to Ekpuk’s training at University of Ife in Nigeria, and as an illustrator for several years at a major Nigerian newspaper. While he began with an exploration of “traditional symbols,” his work has evolved to embrace a wider spectrum of meaning that is equally rooted in African and global contemporary art discourse.
The subject matter of Ekpuk’s art deals with the human condition explained through themes that are both universal and specific: family, gender, politics, culture and Identity.
Victor Ekpuk holds a BFA from University of Ife in Nigeria. His works have been shown at the 1st Johannesburg biennale in South Africa, Smithsonian Institution National Museum for African Art, Washington DC; New Museum in New York; Newark Museum, New Jersey; Yerba Buena Art Center San Francisco; Barbican Gallery London; Fowler Museum UCLA, Los Angeles; the World Bank, Washington DC; among others.
Currently, Ekpuk works from his studio in Washington DC and some of his artworks are in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Newark Museum, the World Bank and private collections.