Karo Akpokiere is a Nigerian graphic designer and illustrator known for his crisp lines and bold colours  fused together in patterns and texts, with work that is mostly inspired by the pop culture of Lagos and real life. I first heard about Karo last year when he was featured at the Venice Biennale and it was an immediate love affair with his designs. There’s something that draws you in about his work, making you feel like you are a part of the process – maybe it has to do with the easily recognizable texts and relatable language, or maybe it’s the ability to transport you to the comfort of childhood with reminders of your favourite comic characters – whatever it is, I am loving it!

I know that I say this about every artist’s work I talk about here, but I’d give anything to have some of Karo’s pieces hanging around my apartment.

These drawings are inspired by the fast moving pop culture of Lagos, Nigeria. They reflect experiences and observations garnered from life in one of the fastest growing cities in the world.  In these works, I appropriated the language of religion, politics and advertising  to comment on contemporary realities in the city.

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Karo was one of the artists that participated in “All of the World’s Futures”, the main exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale showing a body of work titled ‘Zwischen Lagos und Berlin’, inspired by experiences and observations gotten from living and working in Lagos and Berlin. Addressing issues related to homesickness, stereotypes, migration, apathy (as caused by religion), the insensitivity of the elite and the divide between rich and poor. Here are a few images from the collection…

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Your Ad Here was a public art project commissioned by Create London, Whitespace, Lagos and funded by the British Council. It involved exploring the relationship between advertising and everyday life in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. Three billboards with the image were installed in different parts of Lagos Island for a month…

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The Alternate Art Fair, live drawing at the Armory Art Week, 2016…

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The Alternate Art fair was a live drawing installation that attempted to feature a collection of real and imagined experiences distilled through the lens of a stellar cast of fictitious artists and galleries. The visual/written language common to art magazines, catalogues, classified ads, spam mail in combination with personal experiences and the daily happenings during the Armory Show 2016, New York served as source material for the creation of the Alternate Art Fair installation.

…and Lagos Fashion and Design Week, 2014.

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I especially love this footwear from his collaboration with Bucketfeet.

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(All images via Karo’s Behance which you should definitely check out!)

Everything about Karo’s art gorgeous! He’s definitely a fave and I cannot wait for more from the young man. More public art and wall murals, maybe? Fingers (and toes!) crossed.

Follow Karo on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Kov.

Written by Nik-Nak