Artist Spotlight: Abieyuwa
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July 18th, 2022

Meet Abieyuwa

Abieyuwa is a multidisciplinary artist and curator. She has created various works about colorism, cultural pride, and mental health, specifically focusing on how they relate to the lives of black women. She is passionate about creating art through a variety of tools and media including photography, digital and analog video, 3D modeling, and acrylic paint. Abieyuwa identifies as Nigerian-American and you can see that in her work which portray narratives that represent her lived experience, and her Esan and Igbo culture. She couples her experience with her aptitude for technology to explore themes that reflect being a black woman in contemporary society. In 2020 amidst the pandemic she began a series that featured African women from different countries and cultures to shatter the stereotypes of similarity between women from different African nations, highlighting their individuality first and foremost. Abieyuwa is hoping to continue this series in the future, expanding to represent more countries and tribal groups that are unseen in the media. Among many other prestigious publications her portraits have been exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography in the Contemporary Practice and Togethering  exhibitions. Her goals center around inspiring black women of all ages, especially the young black girl(s) she once was, hoping they feel represented, valued, and highlighted in her work. She wants to see her work uplift and encourage these women:

“I hope that they will feel that they are being accurately represented and will feel pride. I hope that my work will uplift and encourage them to embrace our natural beauty and ignore messages that constantly attack our self-worth and self-esteem.” - Abieyuwa

Communities

Abieyuwa is involved in multiple communities of artists that align with her mission and views:

“I’ve definitely learned a lot from my peers, especially my friend King Uranta. His 3D work inspires me so I’m constantly asking him questions and for feedback on my work because I value his opinion a lot. I actually learn from all my fellow 3D artists such as MadebyM1ke, Hyper9, Prince Ude, Rayan El-Nayal, etc. We have a Twitter community where we share WIPs and ask for each other’s advice on software and techniques.” - Abieyuwa

One of these communities, African NFT Community, is an empowered community of African creators digitally sharing their cultural influence through NFTs. Their goal is to provide the platform and resources to help African creators navigate the web3 world so they can leverage the true power of the digital revolution and make a name for themselves in the digital art world. They are working to achieve this by providing educational opportunities, advice, and support via community round tables and live rooms on Clubhouse and Twitter spaces. Their organization operates as a DAO to allow for input in decision making processes and resource allocation, as well as equity for the African artists. Within the community Abieyuwa is on the core team and works with a variety of tools to express herself in her art. In short, the African NFT Club is an incubator that advocates for African artists by giving them the tools to break down barriers and spread their influence across the world. Abieyuwa is also closely involved in Cybet Baat which is a playground for creators of African descent in the metaverse; Herstory, an art collective dedicated to preserving and incubating the stories of marginalized crypto creators; and A2 Accelerate Art, a decentralized community of creatives, collectors and builders focused on supporting emerging artists. 

Art

Abieyuwa has been in love with art and drawing since she was a child growing up in Nigeria. As a child she was always watching cartoons and creating some of her own. In high school, she took art electives every year and had plans on majoring in Visual Arts. When she got to college she decided to major in something more “serious,” thinking she couldnt make a career out of her art. Fast forward to post graduation and her first full time job, she realized her true calling was in art. Abieyuwa’s style of art is versatile. She is interested in drawing and painting as well as digital art, photography and video. Her inspiration comes from black women, which you can see as the usual subject in her art. She also utilizes symbols and designs of her ancestors in her art to represent where she comes from:

“I did research on pre-colonial traditions of the Esan & Igbo tribes of Nigeria. These tribes are where my family is from and I used elements from them in my art. For my series of work celebrating nail art, I incorporated Igbo uli symbols from my research to bring more awareness to the artform that was looked down on by English colonizers. I’ve also created work inspired by the traditional bridal attire of Edo/Esan brides.” - Abieyuwa

She believes representation is important in all areas of life. Her art embodies the divine feminine that exists in every woman regardless of race. The subject of her art, black women, are showcased in angelic poses wearing lavish attire which brings out the divinity in them. She utilizes bright colors to provide contrast and make the focal point of her art stand out. Abieyuwa is a very talented and passionate artist, time and time again her work is nothing short of a masterpiece. 

Gallery

“Déesse de l'eau"
“Déesse de l'eau"
"A Heavy Burden"
"A Heavy Burden"
"Obhiaha's Magazine"
"Obhiaha's Magazine"

“Obhiaha’s Magazine” was originally crafted for NFT NYC’s diversity showcase. The model is of an Edo/Esan bride and the magazine cover is inspired by vintage bridal magazines.

“Obhiaha’s Magazine” on display in Times Square
“Obhiaha’s Magazine” on display in Times Square
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