Nigerian Contemporary Art in the 21st Century: Visual (New Media) Culture and Its Impact

Immaculeta Osinachi Okafor


Culture as the totality of a people’s way of life has transcended beyond the borders of one’s ethnographic territory to the numerous evolving cultures of the world as made possible through the media, most precisely, the social media. In the 20th century Nigeria, artists in the
quest for nationalism have produced works greatly inspired by the Pan-African and negritude movement. However, as independence and democracy have both been long achieved, Nigerian artists have moved on from the main motive of activism to other objectives.
Nevertheless, the impact of visual culture in African art, with utmost precision to 21st- century, Nigerian art has largely been discussed by art historians, critics and art cravers all over the world. Some contemporary Nigerian artists have begun experimentations on New media. Many of them have not necessarily crossed the shores of Nigeria, but they have been heavily influenced by social media which is a reflection of various cultures of the world. This paper addresses how visual culture has inadvertently influenced our artistic expressions and objectives in Nigeria. This has become more accurate with time, events and record-keeping
as largely reflected in the subject matter of the Nigerian art, with signs and symbols replicated in their creative works. This paper attempts to broaden the knowledge, perception and appreciation of Nigerian contemporary art in the 21st Century as not being just mere pictures but conceptual documents triggered by visual culture and has as a result, have become of visual and contemporary significance.

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