Supervised by his appetite for storytelling, Nigerian visual artist Austin George Dorgu utilises the unique possibilities that art provides. To explore the paradox of emotions and the connection between thoughts and experiences.
Depicting his conclusions in hyperrealism portraits that encapsulate his figurative’s in a complex weave of emotionally charged abstract elements revealing the artist’s symbolic intent as the canvas perceives the tales of the figures it embodies.
I am practical and particular about storytelling & self-expression; telling a story or an experience or thought through art is worth it
Austin George Dorgu
Dorgu’s work is intriguing and thought-provoking as it exemplifies his chosen medium’s artistic potential.
Q: For those who don’t know you, can you please introduce yourself?
A: My name is Austin George Dorgu Jr, known as @artbyaustindorgu on Instagram. I’m a Nigerian contemporary visual artist practising Contemporalism, derived from contemporary Art and hyperrealism. My love for Art began from a young age, I would draw from magazines, and my favourite cartoon shows, on any surface I could find suitable.
I continued to focus on Arts during my early schooling years and later graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bells University of Technology, Ogun State, Nigeria. Yet still, on my path to creativity, my interest was rekindled in 2016 when I came across Contemporalism, and I perfected my skills and began practising Art professionally in 2018.
Q: What is your inspiration, and why do you do what you do?
A: As an artist, I am practical and particular about storytelling & self-expression; telling a story or an experience or thought through art is worth it and conveys specific contemporary socio-political topics and norms that affect our society domestically and universally.
Q: Can you tell us about your creative process?
A: My creative process is diverse but tailored to my creativity, emotions, thoughts, a desire towards positivity and growth, my approach is primarily focused on African culture, Blackness, pop culture, human interactions & emotions (although this scope of discussions are not limited to these subject matters) and seek to depict my thoughts, personal experiences, conversations through the combination of symmetry, perspective, colours and portraiture.
Q: Your work has running theme featuring figuratives represented in abstract perspective
A: Yes, figurative in an abstract perspective, especially my current art series, “Contemporary Tales” is a series of artworks that depict the connection between human thoughts, feelings & emotions, and experiences.
Q: Can you tell us the motivation behind this?
A: The motivation behind “Contemporary Tales” has endless meanings, but the primary reason behind this is to understand human emotions as it relates to our culture and society, focusing on the experiences of various personalities across the different spectrum of society.
Q: What was the first piece of Art you created that cemented your path as an artist?
A: I made my first artwork when I got my first easel; it was called “Look through my Eyes”, it was a piece that brought me closer to actualizing my growth as an artist to be able to produce an artwork that showed my progress in techniques and skills that I acquired over time.
Descriptively, the piece is about a man’s willingness to push the boundaries of his existence and is based on the African parable of Change which says, “in other grow, you must first shed your past to move to your future”.
Q: In your opinion, what is the lasting impact of Art?
A: The Lasting Impact of Art; for me, art has and will always have a lasting impact on our society. It puts values in situations we never knew existed. It translates experiences across different cultures.
It is not just about paintings or drawings; it is about how it makes us feel; through art, we get to see the perspectives of people around us. The impact that art has done a lot in the development of mankind by pushing it to change and instilling values, and translating experiences across space and time.
Q: Lastly, what does Art mean to you?
A: What does Art mean to me; Art is the expression of creativity from human consciousness, the process of appreciating the combination of beauty and emotions to create artworks that deliver meaning, worth, and value and showcase the mindset of a creative. Art is my therapy, which has taught me appreciation, growth, hope, and self-understanding/expression.