Akhile Ehiforia (Nigerian, born 1975)
Akhile Ehiforia, is an artist belong to the new generation of Nigerian artists whose works have continued to divert attention away from mainstream themes of artistic representation, focusing on minimal pictorial imageries associated with rural life. His work is usually characterized by a dense arrangement of trees spread upon breath-taking landscapes, evoking a nostalgic image that unites the artist to his roots.
Born in 1975 in the ancient city of Benin, Ehiforia’s native environment is reputed for its natural ambience, especially the woods and groves scattered around its towns.
When he painted A Road Not Taken (2011) – an encrusted piece simulating a tree bark and depicting a landscape covered with trees and soft sunlight pouring from within the branches, in earthy and yellow hues, - viewers concluded that the work was inspired by a poem under the same title by the American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963).
Although Ehiforia’s roofscape series of paintings reveal a personal fascination with the curious architecture in rural Lagos, where he now lives and works; they also reference the architectural background of his native town, where mound houses sit alongside other houses roofed with rusty zincs, giving the entire scenery the effect of a growing mass of beautiful ruins.
Ehiforia studied painting in Auchi polytechnic in Edo State from 2002-2005 where he graduated with both an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND). His time in Auchi most likely afforded him the leisure to observe with serious attention, the geographical layout and nature of his environment.