Obi’s work demonstrates a keen interest and fascination for humanity, bodies and narratives. The figures, often self portraits and usually depicted in the fluidity of oils, are inspired by colour, form and a keenness for understanding humanity.
CHIGOZIE, What inspires you to paint?
I am inspired by colour, form, the experiences & issues I face personally as well as the experiences & issues faced by people around me, the society & the world as a whole face
Could you tell us a bit about your artistic process?
I mostly get the idea first, work on getting references for my sketches, prepare the sketch then dive into painting
I'M FASCINATED TO KNOW: Who are the women you paint? What is your relationship with your models?
A lot of the women are me actually. I pose for myself a lot especially when I get an idea and want to quickly dive into it but a lot of them are also people I know; friends, family, acquaintances and people who I dont know at all. When working with references of people I dont know i try to tweak or reimagine them to create my own character.
How has your work developed over time?
I think my work has gone from solely being practice to improve my skills to using my work to speak on issues but I still create art for the sake of art. I enjoy colours and forms so exploring them is important to me. I think I've also delved into being more experimental & free with creating my work, using more materials but also not being so concerned with things like perfection or art "rules" & "principles" etc.
Does your work reveal anything about yourself?
I think it does, all of the things I speak about in my work relate to me so yes there are pieces of me in them.
You work across many mediums - painting, printing, digital art... Do you have a favourite?
Oil paint is my favourite. I enjoy the way it looks and the pace it dries at although it can have its cons.
What are your professional hopes for the next few years?
I hope to be very happy, satisfied and confident with the art im creating, thats my number one goal. I also hope to be successful, comfortable and well off.
If you could have a meal with any artist from any time, who would the artist be and what would you talk about?
Alexandria Couch. Shes one of my favourite artists and has inspired me a lot. Id like to talk to her about art (of course haha) , just how she expirements the way she does and uses colours and all of that. I'd also like to talk with her about music, I like her music taste and i'd just like to talk about so many other things really, art and non art related.
What do you like and dislike about the artworld?
Well I like that artists can make money and live comfortably because of it. I dislike that there's a lot of pressure for artists a lot of times, what to create , where to show, trends etc. I dont know, I guess it depends for everyone really and there's a lot to dive into. Sometimes I wish it could all just be chill
What is the biggest challenge of being an artist?
I would say insecurity, self confidence, doubt, comparison etc. I struggle with these. There can be a lot of doubt, it comes and it goes and even though I'll say I know my work is good I still don't feel so confident a lot of times, comparison comes in as well and just a bunch of other things. I think things like finances can also be an issue as well. Its been okay ish for me and even good sometimes but I have my financial moments. It can be even worse and challenging for others which really sucks.
Who are your favourite contemporary artists?
I have quite a lot honestly but im going to narrow it down to four people that have really inspired me and continue to inspire me now, Alexandria Couch ( @cosmocouch ) , Njideka Akunyuli Crosby ( @njidekaakunyulicrosby ) Kudzanai Violet Hwani ( @mwana.wevhu ) & Sophie Goudman Peachen ( @soph_peach ) . I really love and resonate with their work.
What one song should be added to the She Curates playlist?
Woahh this is tough. My pick is Vex Oh by KAYTRANADA ft GoldLink, Eight9FLY & Ari PenSmith . I really love this song and some others on the album right now but also any song by Masego works haha!