Johnson Eziefula’s Enthralling Portraits Explore the Complexities of Cultural Exchange

By Daria Harper for Artsy
The 23-year-old Nigerian artist Johnson Eziefula depicts young Black figures with an effortlessly impermeable and poised aura, and slowly reveals parts of their stories and identities in elements within his paintings. The painter’s works tend to reflect his belief that individuals today are constantly, and often subconsciously, shaped and molded by cultural exchange on a global scale. Eziefula is particularly interested in the concept of cultural identities as hybrids—also understood as the blending of multiple identities, often as a result of globalization. Working with a range of materials, Eziefula analyzes the deep complexities of migration, technology, and Westernization in an increasingly connected society.
A self-taught artist, Eziefula renders his figures with painstaking and precise detail. His paintings blend hyperrealism with elements of the Contemporealism art movement popularized by artists such as