The completely self taught AfroPopArt artist is an Afro visionary. He gained worldwide fame as the designer of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s album covers; and between 1974 and 1993, he produced 26 of those, apart from hundreds of covers for musicians like Bob Marley, Kris Okotie, Osita Osadebe, James Iroha, Gilles Peterson, Miriam Makeba, and Lucky Dube. In addition, for about a decade, from the early 1980s he was a consulting album cover designer for Polygram Records in Nigeria, designing more than 2000 covers for them.
Revolution vs Evolution It is the spirit of the Age, a reflection of the times in which we live. « The revolution is on holiday right now. Evolution has really taken over, » Lemi declares. His tone is one of realism, not regret.
The Art of ‘muted’ in the Age of Merry Art of course has imitated life. « These days art too has gone minimalist… it’s the age of Merry we are in, all the youth are talking about boobs [and] bling… » He is well aware of the difference between his old and current work. « It’s commercial art now, but in minimalist form just to have a freshness [to] it, » he explains. The creations of this new phase are « political in a subtle way, [they are] not aggressive like these ones » – by which of course he means the album covers, a selection of which line the walls of the studio.
If these were the old days, he says, his Obama images would have contained scenes of riots in America, and of slogans like « Niggaz with Attitude, » not the ones that he has now produced, work that will not look out of place hanging in offices and banking halls. But no one should be deceived into thinking the ‘politics’ and the angry energy have fizzled away. Only the style and the medium have changed. In a sense, therefore, this evolution is no more than a devolution.


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4 commentaires pour COVER KING

  1. Ping : Revolution vs. Evolution | Lemi Ghariokwu

  2. Ping : Celebrating Lemi | ÉKÒ SAMBA COMMUNITY

  3. DINAMYTE dit :

    CELEBRATING LEMIHome / Uncategorized / Celebrating Lemi
    11th February 2016 saw Lemi Ghariokwu celebrating his 60th Birthday at Freedom Park and Èkó Samba Community was honoured to pay homage to this talented and inspirational man.

    Lemi is a self-taught Nigerian artist, renowned for his designs of Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti’s album covers during the 1970s – 1990s. Lemi proudly proclaims himself to be “the conscious African” and delivered a powerful speech reminding us all that above all else, the most important thing for the progress of humanity and the world that we are in today is “man, know thyself.” Illuminating words that left an enduring impression on the young minds of the lucky ESC members who were at the event to perform for Lemi.

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