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Pioneering Contemporary African Photography with Morgan

In today's feature, we delve into the artistic world of an extraordinary artist whose work is visually striking and significant. Drawing inspiration from the power and beauty of black women, this artist's creations celebrate resilience, grace, and the complexities of life. Through their lens, the rich tapestry of black skin becomes a canvas for stories often untold, especially those of young black women in Nigeria.

Facing challenges head-on, this artist has navigated the often-turbulent waters of artistic expression, overcoming obstacles like location restrictions and funding constraints. Their journey is a beacon of hope for emerging artists, illuminating the path with wisdom that champions persistence and authenticity.

As we explore their artistry's evolution, we uncover the transformative impact of key projects, like "BEING BLACK AND COLOURFUL," which marked a significant turn in their career. Their creative process is a blend of intuition and meticulous planning, embracing unpredictability as a vital part of artistic growth.

Their current location in Lagos, Nigeria, profoundly influences their work, infusing it with the narratives and aesthetics unique to the region. Through their art, they contribute to community building and social change, using their platform to amplify issues affecting young black women.

In an era where digital media is ubiquitous, this artist finds a balance between traditional and modern mediums, ensuring their message resonates across various platforms. Looking to the future, they are eager to embark on new projects, like "IN BLOOM," continuing their journey of exploration and innovation in the art world.

This interview promises to be an enlightening journey through the mind and works of an artist who uses their talent to create beauty, instigate change, and inspire others. Join us as we uncover the layers of meaning, challenges, and triumphs in the world of an artist dedicated to making a difference.

Inspiration Behind Your Art: You've created some genuinely captivating pieces. Could you share what motivates and inspires your artwork? Are there particular themes or experiences you aim to explore through your art?

Ideally, as you can see, I am inspired by BLACK WOMEN, the irresistible power of the black skin, and what it embodies. And also, as someone who loves the idea of drawing with light, my portrayal of subjects can be linked to light and shadow play. Generally, the experiences of young black women, especially in Nigeria, where I currently work, are boldly displayed in my work. I want to herald and eulogize black skin.

Challenges and Triumphs: Every artist's journey is unique and often filled with challenges and victories. Could you share a significant challenge you've faced in your artistic career and how you overcame it?

Yes, challenges abound, especially with the issue of restricted access to artistic expression and practices. I have had problems with shooting on location and the availability of funds to pursue projects, but in all, the urge to tell stories, especially one experienced by young black women, has pushed me.

Advice for Emerging Artists: As someone who has successfully navigated the art world, what advice would you offer to emerging artists striving to make their mark?

Is the story worth telling? Then, do not give up. Allow yourself to enjoy the journey; that way, you will keep rediscovering yourself.

Artistic Evolution: "Morgan, how has your art evolved? Can you share a key moment or project that significantly shifts your style or approach?"

Over the years, my storytelling has remained the same, but how I see it has certainly evolved. I remember BEING BLACK AND COLOURFUL, one of my most widely known projects ever. It changed the course of my career trajectory.

Creative Process: "Could you take us behind the scenes of your creative process? How do you bring your ideas to life from conceptualization to the final stroke?"

It mostly starts with visualization, then I sketch most of the time or note it down on my notepad. Of course, the right team must be assembled. My process is really like any other artist. It could be as unpredictable and unprepared as the days go by. But I have always believed in working with how my artistic abilities lead me. Leaving room for the unpredictability of my work and those moments I didn't prepare for.

Influence of Location: "Your work often reflects a strong sense of place. How has your current location influenced your artistic expression?"

Yes, my work has always been inspired by my location. Living in Lagos, Nigeria, and coming from the Eastern part of the country has pushed me to tell stories that celebrate black skin and women in a way I wouldn't have if I lived elsewhere. I see the stories, and I want to say to them.

Art and Community: "In what ways do you believe art can contribute to community building and social change, especially in the context of your work?"

Art is an act of the community's true nature. It is a medium of voice for so many voiceless communities. Through Art, we can celebrate and bring awareness to topics that would otherwise be left behind. Art is the microphone of my own impact. I want to celebrate black women in Africa and the diaspora and bring light to issues affecting young girls as they navigate the world with their black skin, and Art allows me to do so.

Challenges of the Art World: "The art world can be challenging to navigate. What has been your most challenging aspect, and how have you addressed it?"

Accepting my reality and telling people about it can be challenging. A lot of people do not think these are an issue that affects young black women. So, it can be challenging to go against the status quo.

The Role of Digital Media: "With the rise of digital media, how do you integrate these new technologies into your work? Do you see them as beneficial or challenging to your artistic process?"

Digital media must be addressed in today's world. Like in every era, there are authentic ways to convey our messages to the world. I believe the proper Art form is still to have my pieces hanging on people's walls. But as an artist, digital media will always be incorporated.

Future Projects and Aspirations: "Looking forward, are there any new themes or techniques you are eager to explore in your upcoming projects?"

I am currently exploring my new project, IN BLOOM, which formed the basis of my first solo exhibition earlier in London.

Art as a Career: "What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue art as a career? From your perspective, what are the key elements for success in this field?"

For me, start from where you are. Develop your story and keep developing. Always see your story as you see yourself—the passion to tell it and improve on it. Do not prioritize instant success. Instead, look forward to long-term impact.

Mental Health and Art: "How do you think Art can support mental health, both for the artist and the audience?"

Art is therapeutic. It heals wounds and expands knowledge, which is key to mental health. As artists, we develop a sense of belonging through our Art and community, where we can find freedom. The audience who connects with our Art also sees themselves mirrored on a positive level.

Contact Morgan Otagburuagu

For inquiries, collaborations, or to connect with them and explore thier creative universe, you can reach out to them through the following channels:

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