Late extraordinary artist, poet and activist, Barrister Nwachukwu Ike who passed on in Los Angeles, United States, will be laid to rest in his home town, Ndikelionwu in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria, on Monday, December 7, 2020.
Ike, who read Literature-in-English at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and Law at the University of Lagos, was residing and pursuing a flourishing career in Fine Arts in the US before his demise on May 3, 2020.
According to a statement by his wife, Mrs. Francisca Nwachukwu, internment on Monday, December 7, 2020 will be preceded by a wake at his home town, Ndikelionwu, in Orumba North LGA of Anambra State on Sunday, December 6, 2020 and will be followed by a Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, December 13, 2020.
Called to the Nigerian bar in 2000, Nwachukwu worked as a human rights lawyer for three years with the Civil Liberties Organization of Nigeria (CLO) before emigrating to the US in 2004.
His passion for fine arts which had always been there from his university days at Ife blossomed in the US.
From Sylmar, California, where he had his studio before his transition, Nwachukwu, born in Lagos in 1962, took the world’s art scene by storm in the short period of his sojourn on earth.
Considered one of Nigeria’s post war and contemporary painters, Nwachukwu quickly became a master artist, whose works were in high demand by art connoisseurs globally.
He delved into mixed media art, incorporating drawing and painting, influenced mostly by African masks and faces. He admitted that he is an expressionist, who creates subconsciously and works spontaneously.
He acknowledged that art lovers would be confronted in his works by a complexity of forms, part mystical, part spiritual. And the creations of this icon, who will soon be committed to mother earth, come with such emotive titles as The Purity of Imperfection, Unlearning Weary Rules, Between A Dirge and A Lullaby, Forms and Shadows, Old School Accents, When the Muse Lets You In, Nostalgic Reminiscences and Attitudinal Visage.
He became ArtHouse Contemporary Artist of the Month, participated in group exhibitions and had a solo exhibition, in all of which outings his works received rave reviews.
The group exhibitions he took part in include The Tribe at Lady Between the Lines Art Gallery, Los Angeles (2014) and El Sol for the Soul, Dial Art organized by Lady Between the Lines Art Gallery (2014).
Nwachukwu also presented his works at the Beverly Hills Art Fair (2014) and the Malibu Art Fair (2016) and since 2014 his works have been shown at the Pan African Film and Art Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles.
His solo show Abstract, Colorful and Emotional Expression exhibited at Dysonna City Art Gallery, Los Angeles in 2013.
Nwachukwu, who had Japanese master printmaker Munio Makuchi and Nigerian legend Bruce Onabrakpeya as some of his influencers, has had his works, which are widely collected and are included in private institutions in Nigeria, Europe and America, featured in Arthouse Contemporary’s Affordable and Modern and Contemporary Art Auctions.
He was concerned about the development of the arts in Nigeria and canvassed the involvement of artists in the diaspora in efforts to advance the sector he loved so much in the motherland.
Since the passage of this accomplished fine artist and poet, friends, relatives, school mates and professional colleagues have been mourning him all over the world and rallying in support of his family.
His legacies, surely, will live on through the family he has left behind and the audacious and excellent works of art he produced that are now in different parts of the world, bearing his everlasting signature.