Maruani Mercier announces representation of Nigerian artist Johnson Eziefula

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Maruani Mercier announces representation of Nigerian artist Johnson Eziefula
No longer Invincible (Invisible), 2022. Acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 152.4 x 121.9 cm I 60 x 48 in.

BRUSSELS.- The gallery announced the exclusive European representation of Nigerian artist Johnson Eziefula, who will have his debut exhibition entitled From Time to a Time in Brussels.

Eziefula’s contemplative portraits interrogate the circumstances that cloud the beauty in his life. Engrossed in subject matters such as fate, faith, and love, these themes were instigated by the terminal illness of his brother, to whom this exhibition is dedicated. He embarks on a journey towards self-reflection, soul-searching, and introspection, characterized by a strong sense of nostalgia. As a self-described naturalist painter, he aims to capture the essence of the human condition, focusing on attributes such as identity, psyche, and cultural hybridity. His early influences include illustrations in works of canonical African literature, such as Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, and various anthologies of African poetry.

The artist questions his inner self––the “hows” and “whys”––of a bittersweet journey that led to the present. His autobiographical works record this emotional journey through the guise of real-life subjects close to him, including family members and friends. Rendered in dark, sultry tones, his charcoal, pastel, and acrylic work also allude to his creative predecessors and contemporaries, including Toyin Ojih Odutola, Kerry James Marshall, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, whose styles subconsciously contribute to his artistic wholeness.

Born and based in Lagos, Nigeria, Johnson Eziefula received his Bachelor’s degree in the pharmaceutical field prior to pursuing a career as an artist. His upcoming exhibition this fall marks his first solo show ever, after having previously exhibited in several group shows across Europe, Africa, and the United States.

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