Large bronze women dance and play, or find solace in their shared experiences. Subtle pose communicates strong emotion and it is immediately apparent that the sculpture is merely a vessel for an idea that is much larger. These pieces are the work of Nnamdi Okonkwo, who has recently joined us here at Mark White Fine Art.
At the heart of each of his sculptures is Okonkwo’s belief that there is a magnificence to the human soul, something larger and deeper that goes well beyond the physical confines of the body. There is an abundance in the emotion, and for him showcasing it in the rotund forms of jubilant women sees the perfect means with which to convey the emotions of the work.
See Nnamdi Okonkwo’s work on his artist page.
An Artistic Journey
Okonkwo’s story starts in eastern Nigeria, where even as a child he was drawn to art. While he attempted and even earned a degree in painting, he soon learned that his true calling was in sculpture.
Okonkwo’s journey brought him to the US when he was recruited by BYU-Hawaii to play on their basketball team. This allowed him not only to continue his education, earning a BFA in sculpture, but gave him the opportunity to reach even higher. He moved to Provo after graduation, and continued to attend BYU for graduate school at their main campus, earning an MFA in sculpture as well.
In addition to the large and expressive movements of his sculpture, another recurring theme in Okonkwo’s work is that of womanhood. It is an important aspect as part of his heritage, but also because he sees the noble characteristics of women in those closest to him.
These noble characteristics are often what makes up the bulk of the emotion behind each Okonkwo sculpture: human attributes such as love, life, empathy, serenity, inner strength, and other universally embodied traits.
Simplicity For Meaning
Another trait of Okonkwo’s sculpture are the clean lines and minimal detail. Each piece has just enough detail to convey the emotion he seeks to portray, but not enough to focus on and therefore miss the bigger picture. In addition, each of his works isn’t derived from precise measurements, but rather from his own sense of balance and beauty.
By combining the largeness of spirit, the noble characteristics of woman and the simplicity to properly convey the message, each of Okonkwo’s works transcends any one of these things and instead speak to audiences on a deeper level.