Joel Otuedor (Nigerian, born 1972)
Joel Utuedor generated controversy amongst a group of private collectors in Nigeria with a number of interesting curvaceous nude paintings. Referencing the erotic as well as the physiognomy of the female body, these works were criticized for being voyeuristic, carnal, obscene, lecherously explosive and pornographic. For Utuedor however, the works represented an ongoing representational ‘monograph’ on the debate of gender and identity. Portraying unclad women on canvas was for him, a strategy for mapping his perspective as he essentially presents them through an intimate private space. In one of the works titled Beauty Room (2012), Utuedor exaggerated the proportion of his subjects to heighten the sense of connection between the viewer and the painting.
Other than his nude pieces, some of Utuedor’s realistic life-size portraitures offer a close study on the politics of gender. In 2011, Utuedor was one of twelve Nigerian artists featured in the exhibition titled: Art by Contemporary Masters, organized by Tribes Art Gallery at Waterfront Restaurant, Lagos.
Joel Utuedor studied Fine Art at Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State. He lives and works from his home in Lagos state, Nigeria.