Luke Agada, (b. 1992, Lagos) is a Nigerian painter who takes an Afro-surrealistic approach to create acute compositions informed in a dialectic response to surrealist and Afro-futurists art movements. His surreal portraiture and dream-like grounds references the cyclicity of time and the role that it plays in cultural evolution. He takes an interest in portraying the power that memory holds through time as well as the almost unmistakable recurring cycles of events embedded in the historical time-line.
Having grown up in south-western Nigeria, and being born in the early 90s, he has developed a keen interest in the socio-political history of his country and its interesting replay even in contemporary times. He deems it quite fascinating to see culture come and go on repeat. He depicts the body as a map of memories through the use of important materials like photos and paper documents that have the interesting ability to last through time and get passed from one generation down to another. He views his work as a growing conversation about what it means to be alive as a young person in a perennial space and time when the politics of representation is of high relevance.
Luke lives and works in Chicago, Illinois, and is currently an MFA candidate at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has participated in several group shows, including “Unusual suspects” African Artists’ Foundation, Lagos, “Collective Reflections; A contemporary African and diasporic expression of a new Vangaurd” Gallery 1957, Accra, Ghana. In 2020, he won the Global warming international art prize, AII, New York. In 2021 his work contributed to The Pinch Journal publication at the University of Memphis. In 2021 he was part of a virtual residency with Voice during which he collaborated with other artists on an NFT project which was launched the same year. He has been featured and televised on several media platforms and TV shows including Nigerian art archives, 2018, Something curated, White wall, This Day Live, Art Africa, Channels Television, etc. His works can be found in private prestigious collections across the world.
Luke continues to use his art to project a different narrative and influence real changes in the mindsets of individuals who form the structural framework of the society in micro but incremental ways.