When an artist is as talented and focused as Duke Asidere, his works are most likely to stand out, even among millions. Having gotten a first class in Fine Art at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Duke was absolutely ready to take over the world.
He has since then produced paintings and other works of art that usually leave art enthusiasts home and abroad dazed. While many experts and art lovers agree that there is something refreshingly symbolic about his works, he is also a spontaneous professional, who responds to situations with amazing ease.
Duke Asidere has participated in and facilitated numerous international and local workshops on painting, photography, and drawing, including Colour Masters (Auchi Polytechnic, March 2011), and in a number of the annual Harmattan Workshop Series. He is well exhibited in Nigeria and internationally, his most recent being Mood Colour Harmony (Splendens Factory, Paris, May 2016).
We caught up with him to know what makes him so good and timeless.
Ibiene: Can You give us a brief overview of your work?
Duke: My work is a pure definition of what I see and how I see and interpret that. From the perspective of the present, art speaks to an audience and with a combination of passion, emotions and skill, I aim to do just that.
Ibiene: What motivates you the most about art?
Duke: My core motivation is finding out the “why”. Why is it like this, why must it look like that? My deepest motivation is to do the absolute best!
Ibiene: Do you have any key people who have influenced you and your style?
Duke: Dennis Sokun is a big influence for me but I find influences in everyday life.
Ibiene: What was that life changing experience that determined that you were on the right path?
Duke: I worked as a teacher for 4 years and it was frustrating. There was no appreciation for the work I did and I did not like it very much. I however, learnt about the human being and how their minds work but I always had a grip on what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. Over the years, I’ve done pieces which have spoken to the political era and communicated the reality of the regular man.
Ibiene: What are the lessons you would give a potential colleague embarking on the Art journey?
Duke: If you can’t stand the heat and do it on a daily basis, then don’t bother. To be an artist, you have to be your own motivation. You must be able to push yourself and tell yourself that you can do it!
Duke Asidere Artworks culled from Hourglass Gallery