No way! This cannot be a drawing. It is a photograph. Haba! Even a blind man can see that,” argued Mr. B as his friend tried to convince him that the image he was looking at is a piece of artwork.
This is the kind of argument that trails the works of Mr. Kelvin Okafor, a young talented Nigerian artist whose drawing, Adam, recently won the Catherine Petitgas Visitors’ Choice Prize for the most votes by the public in London for the National Open Art Competition.
Kelvin Okafor, who was born on November 1, 1985, in London to Nigerian parents from Ibusa, Delta State, said as a child, he had always been fascinated with creativity. As a result, after his A-Levels at St. Ignatius College, he went for a one year course in Foundation Art & Design at City & Guilds – London Art School. He then proceeded to Middlesex University where he bagged a B.A. Honours in Fine Art.
“Drawing has always been a burning desire of mine. I was 15 during my studies at St Ignatius College when I discovered I could draw to a noticeably skilful degree. It became apparent to me that I had a talent or skill to draw by the reactions of my teachers and peers.”
Kelvin creates each piece only in black and white, using graphite pencils, charcoal, and black coloured pencil. He’s exhibited at numerous major art galleries and won several national awards for his remarkable work. His work is currently on display at the The Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair at the London Science Museum, until February 3.
See more of his sketches below.
Kelvin further says: “I aspire to create art as vivid as eyes could see. I want my drawings to prompt an emotional response, making viewers feel as though they are looking at a real live subject. I’ve always been creative, but fell in love with using pencils in particular.
“It amazed me, that with only one shade of lead, you can create so many tones and textures, and almost create the illusion of colour. It was only when my images started to create a buzz with other Middlesex University students that I realised their impact.”