Alex Anaughe

I am a self-taught contemporary oil painter. I was born Athens (Greece) and lived there for a short period before moving to England permanently. My ethnic background is Greek and Nigerian. I now live in Bradford, West Yorkshire (UK) which is also where I grew up for most of my life. I have a formal education in law, and I work as a paralegal in Manchester (UK). Art is something that I picked up as a hobby, having passion for the arts from a young age.

I have always been well connected with my Greek family, visiting my home there often so the absence of my African heritage was something ever present in my life. Through my art, I discovered a way to connect with this side of my heritage and explore the black experience through the lens of creativity.

The most prominent theme in my work is the creative realm of the black experience; my paintings tend to focus on music, cinema, and photojournalism. I am highly inspired by hip-hop and urban culture which influenced me to translate this into visual art. I am also inspired by jazz, blues and soul music and the socio-political narratives surrounding these genres that have shaped modern culture and the arts. I aim to portray the intimate layers of blackness through my work as homage to those that inspired me and shaped the culture. My paintings tend to convey nostalgic vibes with a modern edge.

Art and creativity have been with me from a young age and have always played a big role in my life. I now consider my art to be a part of my spiritual development and find it to be a way in which I can express myself freely.

The two artists that have consistently resonated with me are Hopper and Basquiat, both with distinct styles. I find Basquiat to be an inspiration from a cultural perspective; his loud messages delivered in vivid and bold compositions is something I aspire to convey in my work. Hopper’s work resonates with me on a more aesthetic level; I often lose myself in his paintings and feel nostalgic, which is also a quality that I aspire to cultivate in my work.

Using oil paint in my work came through experimenting with different mediums and I now find that it brings my work to life. I found oil paint to be the most versatile and easiest to manipulate. Oil paint invites limitless opportunities for playing with texture and technique which makes the process playful and fluid.

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