Over the last few years there has been a major shift in the art world and our 2022 list of Black Up and Coming artists reflects that shift. These artists explore a range of mediums and formats, from digital illustration and video-art to photography, paintings and mixed-media. We hope you share in our excitement knowing you're witnessing the start of something and someone special.
1. Abraham Ogunlende
'Flowers' by Abraham Ogunlende
Abraham Ogunlende draws inspiration from minimalist compositions, friends, family and personal experiences, creating scenes in his signature pastel-colour palette. The Nigerian contemporary artist combines colours in such a way that you can't help but feel the serotonin. Ogunlende's works include paintings and a sculptural series which he describes as 'breaking through what’s possible.'
2. Azuka Muoh
'Bigi Man' by Azuka Muoh
Azuka Muoh (b. 2000) is a Lagos based film director and contemporary artist. In Azuka’s work, the semiotic process relies on confusion to succeed. In this way surrealism goes beyond art into an attitude towards change making. Azu’s work is part of a larger aim, an aim towards disruption and a new order.
3. David Gumbs
© David Gumbs
David Gumbs is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist from Saint-Martin. Through his work, David seeks to investigate the notion of identity and belonging in a post-colonial Caribbean world. David's new media works comprise of colourful interactive and immersive video installations, from video-mapping to audio reactive pieces, pushing the boundaries of art and culture through tech.
4. Gilles Mayk Navangi
Eloko Moko sculpture by Gilles Mayk Navangi
Gilles Mayk Navangi is a painter and illustrator based in Belgium. His work presents a dreamlike universe made up of graphic patterns, stylised vegetation and human silhouettes merging into one another. Navangi uses moments and characters from the history of African civilisations to change certain stereotypes, from ancestral Africa to Afrofuturism. Exploring several mediums from paper-mâché objects to graphic illustrations.
5. Kristen Woollery
© Kristen Woollery
Trinidadian-American artist Kristen Woollery grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Paying homage to her Trinidadian roots through her use of colour, art allowed Woollery to embark on her personal journey to self-love and self-discovery.
6. Linda Dounia
'Death by fluorescent lighting' by Linda Dounia Rebeiz
Linda Dounia Rebeiz is a Lebanese-Senegalese artist, visual designer and writer based in Dakar, whose work focuses on the social construction of power, and how that work is distributed. Rebeiz is also a founding member of Cyber Baat, a decentralised autonomous collective of African descent on the blockchain.
7. Mamus Esiebo
'Summer Time' by Mamus Esiebo
Mamus Esiebo is a self-taught visual artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Reflecting the simple things in life through his digital illustration. Mamus describes his style as post-pop, centred around the idea of reimagining Africa through the use of positive, provocative, progressive imagery and narratives forging a dialogue where tradition meets invention and innovation.
8. Rendani Nemakhavhani
'Xiluva' by Rendani Nemakhavhani
Rendani Nemakhavhani (PR$DNT HONEY) is a South-African multifaceted artist, graphic designer and art director inspired and influenced by Black people, African aesthetics, and cultures. Nemakhavhani's work also interrogates the positive narratives that exist within Blackness.
9. Uche Ibemere
'Sanctity B&W' by Uchechukwu Ibemere
Uchechukwu Ibemere (1995) is a documentary and lifestyle photographer based in Lagos. His work features everyday life, product photography and documentary images (all shot on iPhone) from his immediate environment not excluding images from his trips within Nigeria and across West Africa.
10. Uzor Ugoala
'The Escape II' by Uzor Ugoala
Uzor Ugoala (b. 1995) is a Nigerian conceptual photographer who creates 'visually stimulating and introspective images that explore the human psyche in relation to the nuances of our existence'. Uzor's creative process is as captivating as the final works.
Cover image: 'Fire Power' © Rendani Nemakhavhani