Portrait of a Modern Man
Dennis Osadebe (born in 1991) is a Nigerian mixed-media artist best known for his contemporary, vibrant post-pop style. Osadebe’s style is a unique blend of digital processes which he uses to create canvasses that are subsequently layered with acrylic paint. With his characteristic use of flattened planes and bold colour, the artist creates what he refers to as a “neo” visual style, one that is “modern, bright, expressive and provocative”.
In Osadebe’s works, play and provocation are used to invite viewers to critically think about their world and their place within it. Central to Osadebe’s imagined narrative is the symbol of the helmet, a reoccurring visual element that binds the diverse characters together. In one sense, the helmet is a form of protective gear, shielding the harmful effects of the outside environment. The helmet creates a sense of anonymity, disguising the identity of its user. There is also an inherent sense of isolation associated with the helmet, which parallels the isolation created by our technologies.
Osadebe obtained a BSc in Business and Management from the Queen Mary University of London and a MSc from the University of Warwick, majoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. An aspiring entrepreneur turned self-taught artist, Osadebe’s art has been featured in numerous contemporary art exhibitions since relocating back to Lagos in 2013, he has collaborated with international brands such as Diesel and has coined a new cultural movement he calls ‘neo-africa’, which aims to deconstruct the notion of “African art” and escape the expectations often projected onto contemporary artists emanating from the African continent.