Edo State, Nigeria. 1988
Matthew Eguavoen (b.1988, Edo State) lives and works in the city of Lagos, Nigeria.
Matthew Eguavoen is a contemporary artist with a singular style. Far more expressive than the traditional portrait, the Lagos-based artist uses color and composition to raise questions about gender, race and history, particularly linked to Nigeria and Africa. In his portraits, he uses a combination of oil paint, acrylic paint, charcoal, and graphite pencils to document stories that encompass the emotions and demeanor of his muse to the viewer of his work.
Matthew explores in his figurative and portrait paintings. He depicts the vulnerability and openness associated with expressing the feelings of love, as well as the apprehension of protecting ones self from heart break and ulterior motives. His work addresses the lack of awareness on mental health, especially depression. Due to the stigma associated with mental health, conversations about depression are not often had, hence information, and resources required to deal with depression are sparse and the effect of societal pressures and timelines set on youths to achieve certain goals by a specific age (marriage, financial goals, family responsibilities).
Eguavoen, wants to give voice to the impact of Slavery in Africa and its people. The extinction of African traditional values and the growing sensation of religion in Africa, importation of western moral and cultural values.
He attended the University of Port Harcourt, where he obtained a Bachelors in Science for Civil Engineering and Structures. In his final year at the university, Matthew decided to pursue his passion for creating art through self-study, where he continued his artistic development. Matthew didn’t start painting till was 25 years.
Matthew´s works are featured in collections across West Africa, USA, Europe, and North America.