Collins Obijiaku creates vivid and poignant portraits utilising charcoal and texture to bring his subjects to life with dactylogram-like lines, impressing notions of identity, space, patterns, and typography. Detailed observation of his styled portraits holds the viewer’s gaze in a dizzying embrace. This mesmerising effect induced by concurrent and collinear lines running with no obvious starting point or no known end is deliberate, and for the artist, these lines represent life’s unpredictable journey.
Obijiaku’s subjects confront the viewer directly with a bold and powerful gaze. In his distinct style of craftsmanship, Obijiaku uses charcoal and paint to map out the contour lines of his figures. He ‘exposes the very essence of his subjects’ forms,’ and reveals the contours of the self that are most innate, yet deeply misunderstood. Strikingly aware, Obijiaku’s works challenge the viewer’s predisposed notions of portraiture by treating it as a deeply reflective genre.