Arinze Stanley is an artist based in Lagos, Nigeria, who produces hyper-realistic pencil drawings often derived from personal experiences and commenting on political and social issues. With his family’s background in paper conversion, Arinze grew up mastering the relationship between pencil and paper. Since his first group show in 2016, he has gone on to exhibit work throughout the UK and the US.

‘Mindless 3’, Pencil on Paper, 2020

Where did you spend lockdown?

I spent a lot of my lockdown in the studio working and preparing for my solo exhibition.

Did you have access to a studio during this time? If not, how did you continue to create work?

I have a studio in my apartment. I have been working throughout the whole lockdown period.

Can you talk through your art making process?

Well..I have a series of work that I call ‘The Machine Man’ Series, in this series you will see features of oil dripping down from several peoples faces. I intended to create these artworks to highlight the impact of corruption on oil producing countries like my country, Nigeria and how corruption has engulfed the country’s wealth through a gift such as ‘Oil’. 

Did you experiment with any new materials or methodologies?

I try to experiment with different techniques and approach to my work. Lately, my works have taken a more surrealistic approach.

Given the limitations and restrictions of the last few months, did your art making process change at all?  If so, do you think this will continue to change how you will make art going forward?

No. The lockdown adds very little impact to my creation process. I feel like I even had some time to meditate and think about the world through a broad spectrum during this period. 

Did you have any projects during this time that went ahead?

I am currently preparing for my second solo exhibition in Los Angeles and with Corey Helford Gallery. I have been working towards that and hopefully the show isn’t going to be cancelled. The show opens on the 3rd of October and I hope that before the exhibition, the whole Corona Virus and the pandemic issue would have subsided.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Well, after my solo exhibition in October, I will be having another solo exhibition in 2021 with a New York Gallery and also another exhibition in 2022 with my London Gallery. 

All photographs were provided by Arinze Stanley. To see more of Arinze’s work visit his website and Instagram.