I’m a person who reacts to an image and uses that to take it somewhere else.

Esiri Erheriene-Essi bases her mixed media paintings on archival documentation that often depict the lives of black families in the 1950s - ‘80s, showing them in vibrant technicolor where old film cartridges failed to do so.


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History is not just something from the past. It’s in all of us, it’s in our names and our language and the way we look at things, in the way we look at the world and understand it.

Esiri Erheriene-Essi, is an Amsterdam based artist, born in London from Nigerian parents. Inspired by artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Lucian Freud, Alice Neel and Jean-Michel Basquiat, she creates colourful mid to large-scale figurative paintings portraying family and friends in everyday situations, incorporating familial and historical backgrounds as well as personal experiences.


An important part of her work process consists of collecting photographs, fabrics and other archival documentation relating to the African diaspora to incorporate into her artworks. Starting from a found, vintage photograph, she then edits it in photoshop and makes a sketch with acrylic...