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Chika Aneke is a multi-talented Visual Artist,a US Department of State's IVLP Alumnus/Recipient of the 2019 US Govt. Award/Grant & a mixed media Maverick who has consistently sought for new & unusual means to forge visually arresting expressions.

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This year’s Black History Month
celebration takes a favor
in the propagation of aesthetics
and creative ingenuity
of Chika Aneke’s exploits. it displays
the Black Struggles,
the attainment of Freedom as well
as Excellence.
The conceptualization, exploration
as well as execution of
his carefully crafted thoughts and
ideas into plaques and
tapestries of forms in context that
breeds life into the
framework of these storylines.
Topically, these storylines tend to
remain same as the works
in this exhibition to “powder” the
substance of it’s content.
Thus telling the rest of the
encounters and the untold part
of the story. The use of allegory,
parables, metaphor and
paradoxical frame, thus packages
the context of the show.
The exploration of colors and
contours within context
eventually becomes as it forms the
part herein partly played;
leaving the audience’s interaction
with Chika’s works to
bring out the form within its

Artist ON EXHIBITION Image 1
Artist ON EXHIBITION Image 2

 Chika Aneke is a multi-talented Visual Artist,a US Department of State's IVLP Alumnus/Recipient of the 2019 US Government Award/Grant and a mixed media Maverick who has consistently sought for new & unusual means to forge visually arresting expressions. He is a graduate of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a recipient of the Prestigious Ford Foundation Artists' Prize in 2006.

In addition, he is a Nigerian Visual Art Ambassador, having been enthusiastically selected by the US Government to be a "Special Guest Artist/International Visitor" from the Nigerian visual art circle in an international art project tagged,"Promoting Tolerance Through the Arts" which took him alongside other nationals from 21 countries of the world to over 14 major cities and states in the US under the aegis of the American Government-sponsored IVLP Program where his Artistry enjoyed a wide viewership and appreciation on a global scale.

Chika was originally trained by the legendary Professor and globally renowned Visual Artist, El Anatsui at the Nsukka Art School who proudly featured him in his groundbreaking seminal art project entitled," New Energies".

ABOUT ME Image 1
ABOUT ME Image 4

His incised grooves on assorted wooden panel
surface and a myriad of other media actually
depict fragmented history of man and his
changing world. His work focuses on the concept
of recycling, reintegration, redefinition,
reconstruction and transformation. Oftentimes,
discarded items meant for the waste bin manage
to find their place in his finished pieces. They are
simply given a second chance in his work and this
is owing to the remarkable value he places on
the concept of "Transforming waste into

Apart from creating limitless imageries through intricate incision of grooves on the surfaces of burnt wooden assemblages, Chika tactically creates breathtaking metaphors via mixed-media paintings on the surfaces of various kinds of media such as textured papers, linen fabrics, jute bags etc. 
According to a Lagos based respected Art Journalist, Veteran Art Editor /Reviewer, Poet and Artist - Chuka Nnabuife " Chika's art collection are vivid examples of an artist
with good control of his brushes, chisels,
draughtsmanship and lots more. Very
remarkable about the collection is its
presentation of Aneke as an artist with a deeply
meditative mind that is seriously engaged on
how to integrate every space in his picture plane
in his communication of beauty.
Aneke’s new works are puzzling in the maze of
lines that run through every piece. American art
Historian, Prof. Jean Boggatti underscores the
artists conscious effort to engage global issues
with such local art paradigm as Uli and Nsibidi
styles. She identifies Aneke's "palpable effort at
engaging pertinent global issues", his "good
draughtsmanship, minimal colouring in gently
guiding the eyes to a chosen focal point".
Artist TECHNIQUE Image 1
  1. Chika Aneke's most
    outstanding talent includes an early
    engagement with that ideal attitude of a truly
    gifted artist – the attitude of relentless probing,
    often resulting in studio fare, which comes with
    a particular freshness. His works stand out from
    those of his contemporaries on account of their
    originality and unusual imagery".


- Professor EL ANATSUI

Chika's former Teacher/ Mentor.



"Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in the United
States, is an annual observance devoted to recognizing and honoring important people
and events in the history of the African diaspora.
Annually, the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos commemorates Black History Month by
highlighting the accomplishments of Black Americans.
As part of the activities to this year's commemoration of black history, we are proud that
Chika Aneke, a multitalented Nigerian visual artist, has agreed to feature some of his
multiple award-winning art works depicting both the struggles and achievements of
African-Americans in an exhibit at the University of Lagos. Chika is a 2010 International
Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumnus. The IVLP is one of the signature exchange
programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
We thank Chika for being a part of this year's celebration. We thank UNILAG for their
support as well. And importantly, we thank everyone who will visit the exhibit or any
other of UNILAG's Black History Month programs. Together, as brothers and sisters in
our common struggle for truth and justice, in the word of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., We
Shall Overcome".

Russell K. Brooks
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Consulate General Lagos.

Lagos, Nigeria.


Artist EXPERTISE Image 1

  • 2019 Prestigious U.S Government Art Grant/ Award.
  • 2014 Nigerian Merit Award - Guest Artist (Solo Exhibition) Oriental Hotel, Victorial Island , Lagos.
  • WINNER | United States Government sponsored " International Visitor Leadership Program" - Toured over 14 cities and states in the U.S Theme : Promoting Tolerance through the Arts. (2010)
  • Receiving the prestigious U.S Department of State's IVLP Certificate from the U.S Government Officials having satisfactorily completed my program in Los Angeles, California. (2010)
  • Ford Foundation/ Terra Culture Prestigious Artists' Prize/ Grant.  (2006)
  • MTN Nigeria Telecom Artist's Grant/Prize/ Solo Exhibition funding / Brand Endorsement (Quadruple times winner in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009)
  • Prestigious Oil and Gas Solo Exhibition sponsorship Grant / Brand Recognition / Corporate endorsement from Addax Petroleum.  (2007 & 2009)
  • Prestigious Oil and Gas Solo Exhibition sponsorship Grant/ Brand Recognition/ Corporate endorsement from Sheebba Oil and Explorations.   (2009)
  • Prestigious Oil and Gas Solo Exhibition sponsorship Grant/ Brand Recognition/ Corporate endorsement from ONG Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd.  (2007 & 2009)
  • Prestigious Marines and Spare Parts Artists' Solo Exhibition Grant from Royal Marines and Spare Parts Nigeria Ltd.  (2009)
  • Prestigious Non- Profit Organization Artist's Solo Exhibition Grant from Center for Development Initiative ( CEDIS ) Nigeria.    (2008 & 2009)
  • Prestigious Hospitality Hub Artists' Solo Exhibition Grant from Le' Meridian Eko Hotel and Suites.    (2007 & 2009)
  • U.S Consulate General, Lagos Artists' Joint Exhibition Sponsorship Grant.   (2005)
Artist AWARDS Image 1
Artist AWARDS Image 2
Artist AWARDS Image 3

African Arts with Taj
Thursday, 10 May 2012


By Tajudeen Sowole
(First published in 2009)_
FROM Abuja to Lagos, young artist, Chika Aneke must have discovered the right formula as he continues to serialise his treasured theme.
He calls it Breaking Boundaries, (Episode 1) and showed the Lagos edition at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he had on display paintings and mixed media.
And just last week, Aneke who is currently in preparation for his next outing, which comes up in the first quarter of next year, restated his commitment to continue with the series, adding that the episode two of the exhibition was uppermost on his mind.
Breaking Boundaries (Episode 1) included paintings, and installations. For each of the genres, the artist did not hide his bias for the art form, Uli, a native expression of the people of the South-East. "It's a fusion of medium using an unconventional approach," Aneke stated during the show.


Uli, he said, was a favourite choice "because it depicts Africa in its real sense, " and adds that his art is based on African value. This must have given birth to a toga as he describes himself a "Pan-African artist."
This much was seen in one of the exhibits, a mixed media, African Leaders Summit, which had a line up of what represents the diverse people of the continent.
In this collage, Aneke denounces the colonial heritage of identifying the people through flags in the nation state context. Rather, his concept of what represents the rich designs of various African origins was adapted to give the work originality.
From the functional art pieces like settees, stools to other designs, Aneke's work takes one back to centuries. What has a young man in his 30s – in the age of the Internet – got to do with some primitive arts? "My art has much in common with the art of the caveman-they both posses magical property," he explained. This he had used to draw attention to more mind-boggling reality of today as he prides his art in having the "ability to subdue the pain and cries of African continent ravaged with war, poverty, drought and famine."
Still on bringing back the past to bear with the reality of today, his thoughts on the Internet is explained using African motifs in the work titled World Wide Webb.
On art and the public, the artist gave knocks to corporate bodies, who, in his opinion, lack commitment in CSR. Young and up-and-coming artists, he argued needs the support of the corporate world. For Breaking Boundaries' successful outing, Aneke gave kudos "to corporate support from, Addax Petroleum Development, MTN, Eko Hotel and Suites, CEDSI Nigeria, Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, and Revilo Communication."

The dynamics of art leaves no artist barren these days just as most of them would rather play safe and avoid any risk. Aneke thought otherwise. "No man can fulfill his destiny by walking another's path. No man can lay claim to greatness by beating the already trodden and worn path. Through my work I search for my destiny away from the crippling syndrome of orthodoxy and conventional norms. I seek for change, innovation and renewal engendered by choice and originality."
In another mixed media, Leave the Bandwagon (Swimming Against the Tide), the artist puts his philosophy in visual context

And in the visual arts scene where advancing age of an artist is a ticket to winning the elite-dominated art collecting class, Aneke, surprisingly is fast getting admirers at that pedestal as seen during the show.
For his admirers who were not able to make the event, some critical analysis of the artist's work explains the potential buried in his art. Country Counsellor for Public Affairs, United States Consulate General in Nigeria, Mrs. Atim Eneida George stated during the Abuja show: "Chika's remarkable artistic expressions are much in evidence in his exhibit-Breaking Boundaries where he draws upon Africa's distinctive cultural software of proverbial wisdom, folklore and mythology to engage, educate and empower. Like the alchemists of old, Chika fires the imagination using the continent's rich and varied cultural hardware of wood, paper matte, cowries and color burning away the dross and revealing universal gifts of truth and beauty."
In addition to several group shows, he is a recipient of the prestigious Ford Foundation Artists Prize in 2006.

at May 10, 2012




There are two theories of aesthetics that quite often play out in any discourses of
art and representation. They are theories
of subjectivism and objectivism. The first theory
follows the notion that we like the sweetness of
an orange because we have tasted it. Put it in
another way, it is we who acknowledge the
beauty of the rose flower because we can
appreciate its scent and colour as if what it is
finds its aesthetic validity because of our own
emotional responses and visual percepts. Based
on this, we like a work of art because of our
aesthetic investment in it so that while we gaze
at a picture, the picture in turn gazes at us. It is
we then who, like the theory of the Baroque
mirror, refix our gaze psychologically on the
picture in order to empower it with our
psychological and meta-narrative distillations.
From this we create our own reality because
reality is pictorial. Of the second theory, it is
suggested that an orange is sweet even if we do
not taste it because its sweetness is
independent of us although ultimately, it is we
who now assert the taste as if it is our own. In
this theory, a work of art is said to be
autonomous and self sufficient and has a life
being of its own independent of us. However,
the theory of objectivism holds that it is we who
would learn to read the grammar of the visual
image in terms of its structure and meanings
that are endowed with semantic openness. In
fact, it is argued that when objectivism places its
feet on the ground, it begins to move with
friction in terms of its morphological qualities
and as a process in the materialization of form.
These two theories directly or indirectly
hint at the narrative directions of Chika Aneke's
works. This is important because we can only
understand these works through two important
conceptual frames. An appraisal of his works
points to certain structural directions in terms of
the pictorial formatting of his works. Their
binary division hints at two creative possibilities.
A number of his works can be grouped under
painted relief sculpture in wood. These works
consist of Climate Change (2001),Struggle
(2016), Dream dreamsI have a dream, (2006),
Musings of Rosa Parks(2001), Industrious Black
Woman 1&2(2001& 2015), I am wisdom: Tales
by moonlight(2005), White Elephant
Project(2008), Let freedom reign(2005), Village
where the past met tomorrow(2008), and
Tadpole on the wall,(2011). Others are Leave
the Bandwagon, Swimming against the tide,
(wood installation)(2005), A Glimpse into the
future(2010), Sandwiched woman,(2006), The
ultimate source (2008)etc.
Distinct from the above works is another
category of works executed on textured paper
using acrylic colours. These consist of Leave the
Bandwagon, swimming against the tide,(2013),
Black Positivity: Thanksgiving Offering,(2017),
Let Freedomreign : Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr.(2009), Aspects of Motherland
Africa,(2015), 'We shall overcome'(2011), Slave
Spider (III),(2012), The ultimate source (2015),
Slave spider (II),Beautiful black woman
(1&2)(2017 &2011), Peaceful Coexistence,
(2009), It was all a dream,(2013), Writing on the
cave wall (from the cave man era),(2014),
Beyond the boxes, boxes of destinies,
( 2 0 0 8 ) , D r e a m d r e a m s … I h a v e a
dream,(2016)etc. There are of course, one or
two works that remain a little idiosyncratic in
terms of categorization such as “Ijele”-Free-
Standing, wooden sculpture (1998) and Masked
in Cobwebs, conceptual art, wood, fiber and
acrylic (2008).
The first category consists of works that
are unique and resonant in terms of their
geometric-pictorial phrasings which lend them
and architectonic quality. In them, the artist forms, rendered as intricate design motifs. In
fact, the layout of pictorial surfaces is formalized
within strips of geometric frames. To this extent,
his works are resonant with geometricized
rhythms of forms in their varying intricacy and
density. The effects of textile designs especially
in their geometricizationanddeployment of
multiple frame compositionssuggest that the
artist may have been inspired by the poly-
rhythmic structure of African textiles in their
technique of suspended metering. This
sculpture panels and their geometricized
decorations may have been inspired by El
Anatsui though figurated in places as part of the
artist's production plans. In some sense, the
works were created with the consciousness that
the artist is quite familiar with the geometric
structures of Yoruba Adireand Akwete and the
seriate compositional styling in Igbo wall
painting (uli). The multi-narrative references of
African textiles have provided the artist with a
source of visual delight from which to engage his
artistic representations, the triumph of the
creative power of appropriation and
Yet, what is said is only a pathway to the
music of colours in his works. His dexterity in the
use of colours endows his works with chromatic
metaphors. In his works, visual images acquire
their aesthetic energy because of his subtle and
elusive manipulation of colours in terms that are
musical and collapses his visual images into the
bathwaters of soothing and nourishing
chromatic values. His colours caress the
emotions, bring us close to the footsteps of
creative epiphany and transform visual images
into musical poetry so that there is creative
fusion between the past and the present,
presence and absence and of bright lights that
simulate shadows as if to bond the earth and the
firmament, as living aesthetic chords of human
experience, and of the immediate and the
transcendent. As the artist matures more and
more, he is likely to begin to reduce the very
complex to be very simple so that he can become
less explicit in the compositional and technical
phrasing of his works, invoking implied rather
than stated meanings.Within the frame of
subjectivism, Chika invites us to understand that
works of art are works of affecting presence,
visually stimulating because of their sensuous
values for the enrichment of our aesthetic
consciousness. With the theory of objectivism,
we begin to understand that these works have a
morphological presence resulting from an
artist's creative skills as a process in the
materialization of form, both in their formal and
syntactical content. That which is created as form
has visual affect as a means of humanizing man in


Prof. Chike Aniakor
Marian Professor of Art History,
Cross River University of Technology,

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