Fine artist. People-watcher. International citizen.
FINE ARTIST BA Hons Media, Culture and Communications 2007
Karl is an accomplished fine artist who captures the ‘human condition’. Today his practice encompasses photography, video, text and sculpture
Since graduating from Greenwich in 2007 he has built a career in the highly competitive fine art world, exhibiting at the Tate Britain (2013) and the National Portrait Gallery (2016) in prestigious group shows.
Most recently, his work has been included in the Arts Council Collection where works of national significance are purchased for exhibition across the nation’s galleries.
As a British-Nigerian from Eltham, he considers himself an international citizen, splitting his time between London and Lagos.
His photographs explore memories of his early childhood visits to Nigeria and issues of identity. They are often very moving and personal. A particular standout is ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t be there’ – Karl’s simple reaction to his grandmother’s passing in Nigeria.
Karl has maintained very strong links with the University of Greenwich, and is still close to his lecturers in the creative department. In January 2017, he held an Arts Council funded exhibition, ‘My Grandad’s Car’ here, in the Stephen Lawrence Gallery. He says:
“I loved Greenwich. I had the typical student experience – parties, friends, socialising. But I listened to my lecturers too. They taught me a lot and they’re very well-connected.
“I’d like to thank them for the help they’ve given me. My advice to students? Network while you’re here.”
The sign Karl holds here is a Nigerian saying, reflecting the close living quarters in many Nigerian townships. The expression is used in a playful way to create new meaning and captures a position he often finds himself in as an artist: confronting the viewer’s gaze.
The saying also pays homage to his mother’s Nigerian heritage.
“My mum is my biggest inspiration. She brought my sister and I up herself and was a strong, amazing woman. Her presence runs through many aspects of my work and has made me the man and artist I am today.”
“I can’t thank my lecturers enough for the help they’ve given me – they’ve played an important part in my success. My advice to students? Network while you’re here.”