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Victor Ekpuk, Afternoon With Lorenzo, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 132 x 72 in (335.28 x 182.88 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Afternoon With Lorenzo, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 132 in (182.88 x 335.28 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Girl Dancing in a Circle, 2020, Acrylic, found fabric, collage on BFK paper, 50.5 x 60.5 in (128.27 x 153.67 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Girl Dancing in a Circle, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 60 in (127 x 152.4 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Oracle, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 85 x 50 in (215.9 x 127 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Oracle, 2014-22, Acrylic and glass on canvas, 72 x 48 in (182.88 x 121.92 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Tête à Tête 1, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45 in (152.4 x 114.3 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Tête à Tête 1, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in (152.4 x 121.92 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Tête à Tête 2, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45 in (152.4 x 114.3 cm)

 Victor Ekpuk, Tête à Tête 2, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in (152.4 x 121.92 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, She said, He said, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 in (121.92 x 91.44 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, She said, He said, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 in (121.92 x 91.44 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, The Voice in Matanzas 2, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 in (121.92 x 91.44 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, The Voice in Matanzas 2, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 in (121.92 x 91.44 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, This American​​​​​​​, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45 in (152.4 x 114.3 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, This American, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in (152.4 x 121.92 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Woman Bathing in the Moonlight, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45 in (152.4 x 114.3 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Woman Bathing in the Moonlight, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in (152.4 x 121.92 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Matriarch 2, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45 in (152.4 x 114.3 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Matriarch 2, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in (152.4 x 121.92 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Embrace, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45 in (152.4 x 114.3 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Embrace, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in (152.4 x 121.92 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Liberian Girl, 2022, Acrylic and collage on canvas, 23 x 19 in (58.42 x 48.26 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Liberian Girl, 2022, Acrylic and collage on paper, 30 x 22 in (76.2 x 55.88 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Lady in Sunday Dress, 2022, Acrylic and collage on paper, 23 x 19 in (58.42 x 48.26 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Lady in Sunday Dress, 2022, Acrylic and collage on paper, 30 x 22 in (76.2 x 55.88 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Scape Goat​​​​​​​, 2022, Acrylic and inkjet on rag paper, 44 x 43 in (111.76 x 109.22 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Scape Goat, 2007, Acrylic and inkjet on rag paper, 44 x 43 in (111.76 x 109.22 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Life in Hand, 2017, Ink and pastel on paper, 44 x 43 in (111.76 x 109.22 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Life in Hand, 2017, Ink and pastel on paper, 44 x 43 in (111.76 x 109.22 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Mask​​​​​​​, 2022, Hand painted steel, 35.4 x 23.6 in (90 x 60 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Mask, 2022, Hand painted steel, 35.5 x 23 x 8 in (90.17 x 58.42 x 20.32 cm), ed. 2/8

Victor Ekpuk, Head, 2022, Hand painted steel, 35.4 x 25.19 in (90 x 64 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Head, 2022, Hand painted steel, 35.5 x 23 x 8 in (90.17 x 58.42 x 20.32 cm), ed. 2/8

Victor Ekpuk, Ibibio girl, 2022, Hand painted steel, 35.4 x 26.8 in (90 x 68 cm)

Victor Ekpuk, Ibibio girl, 2022, Hand painted steel, 35.5 x 23 x 8 in (90.17 x 58.42 x 20.32 cm), ed. 2/8

Victor Ekpuk - I am My Ancestor's Essence - Exhibitions - Aicon Art

Aicon is proud to present I am My Ancestor’s Essence, the gallery’s second solo exhibition of Nigerian-American artist Victor Ekpuk. The show, a series of portraits in contemporary dialogue with African ancestral objects, comprises three distinct bodies of work: canvases that incorporate thick impasto paint layering, a suite of drawings that offer early examples of the artist’s mark-making, and ambitious large-scale totemic sculptures. Through I am My Ancestor’s Essence, the artist locates the past in the present by contemporizing sacred objects. In his own words:

“I chose these objects based on my cultural affiliation to them, the spiritual essence they exude, and the aesthetics of their forms. I believe our identities are the sum of our past and present memories informed by traditions and genetics. As I study the aesthetics of these objects, these portraits are perhaps a search for the essence of ourselves.” 

Ekpuk is known for work that engages a diverse spectrum of meaning, often mining historical narratives, the contemporary African diaspora, and humanity’s connection to the sacred. With I am My Ancestor’s Essence, the artist looks to artifacts and colonial-era photographs to guide his reimagined figures layered over intricate backdrops of symbols. These images as text draw the viewer into a participatory relationship with the works, demanding a close look to parse out clues to a more profound meaning.