For the Kano-born artist, the masterpiece always had a masterplan. “People change and evolve based on life experiences and their environment, which play a big role in self development.
“The exhibition, ‘Hyperflux’, is about the study of self representation of one’s identity, or the subject of experience,” the hybrid digital artist, William Chechet, notes on his second and latest solo exhibition.
A pride of the continent, Chechet’s artwork, largely based in high-end digital arts, has continued to interrogate cultural identity, history and individuality. From his previous work, ‘We are the North’, down to ‘Hyperflux’, Chechet has maintained a consistency in making the art more about the audience than the artist.
“Study of self enables people to discover themselves, alter, change, add, and modify aspects of themselves in order to gain social acceptance in society.”
Opening recently, in the Abuja-based gallery, Retro Africa, Hyperflux hosted 28 works, including 3 lightboxes and 3 installations. They comprised limited edition digital framed prints, an artificial psychedelic cloud, 14 neon light installations, and 4 CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions.
For Chechet, Retro Africa was the best spot for the exhibition, as the gallery emphasises African art in its efforts to provide a platform for emerging and established contemporary artists.
“Our ethos is centred around a desire to spread awareness and encourage a cycle of growth and learning within the African art scene,” the gallery’s founder, Dolly Kola-Balogun corroborates.
Among the masterpieces on display at Hyperflux was the author’s favourite, ‘Haddasah Maigari’s Pride’.
“It was inspired by my late grandma, which it is named it after. I loved her so much. She was a hardworking and strong woman who was known for her selflessness. That is what the art piece represents.”
For the hybrid artist, Chechet’s career has chronologed his experiences and perspectives gleaned from his childhood in both the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. Yet, for the artist, the agenda is beyond sectional ethnic lines; it is and always would be a Pan-African dream.
“I have been practising art since I was 5 years old. I started creating art to show when I was in my secondary school FGC Enugu. I have shown in 24 group shows including art fairs both locally international; in America, UK, Morocco, South Africa and back here in Nigeria. My 1st solo show was in 2017 hosted by Alliance Francaise Lagos.
“My message as an artist is to educate people that Africa has a large history with diverse people and cultures that brings us, black people, as one. I also believe that art has the power to heal, inspire and bring people together.”
Chechet draws his creative influences from cross-continental artistes such as Andy Warhol (American), Lemi Ghariokwu (Nigerian), Roy Litchenstein (American), Jean-Michel Basquiat (American), Keith Haring (American), Robert Rosenberg (American), Kaws (American), Banksy (English)and Takashi Murakami (Japanese).
He prefers to use the digital medium at the moment to express his art – a style he regards as ‘pop art’ – because of his love for colours.
The Industrial Design graduate continues to believe in his art as a tool for healing, inspiration, and integration.
As he forays from Nigeria’s political history to emotional terrains about the human person, Chechet’s bravery and bohemian personality continues to trademark him among the contemporary icons of the African art space.Follow us on social media