Vibrant and colourful strokes of blue and green flow across a canvas in twists and folds, adorned with multi-coloured patterns and prints. It is quite a visual fiesta; regal – yes, that’s one way to describe these beautiful young women who are rendered queens! These eye-catching headwraps, known as a gele in Nigeria, sit heavy on the heads of what would otherwise be everyday women. They bear different expressions, some stoic others coy, but all majestic in their own right.

© Clement Nwafor
© Clement Nwafor

Clement Nwafor is a Nigerian painter and sculptor that has mastered the art of ‘softening’ oil paint. One could be forgiven for assuming that these were created using chalk pastels, but it is indeed oil paint.

© Clement Nwafor
© Clement Nwafor

As a self-taught artist, Nwafor’s technique naturally evolved as he explored different approaches. His work started as photo-realistic portraiture and slowly morphed to impressionist manifestations of colourful fabrics.

© Clement Nwafor

Nwafor studied painting under the apprenticeship of renowned Nigerian artist, Oswald Oruakpa. The work he produces today has caught international attention and raised him to a new height; cementing his place in the conversation as one of Africa’s rising contemporary artists.

© Clement Nwafor
© Clement Nwafor