Born in Badagry, Lagos, in 1995, Christopher Samuel Idowu considers himself a poet, photographer, singer, pianist, creative writer and visual artist. His fascination for art grew after he observed his older brother draw and create comic books during his childhood. His love for art was not overwhelmingly serious as he felt pressured by his siblings to pursue a medical career, although it didn’t stop him from drawing altogether. It was when he became a finalist in a national art competition at secondary school in 2012 – organised by Chevron/NNPC – where his family witnessed his passion for art and supported him in his decision to pursue it as a career.
After finishing secondary school, Idowu attended the Yaba College of Technology, where he majored in Painting and was recently awarded an OND (Ordinary National Diploma) in General Art. He also interned with Space 29.7, allowing mentorship under the renowned Nigerian painter Raji Mohammed B.
Witness I (Being Black Series)
Striving to document ethereal and earthly moments, Idowu uses a range of mediums for his work, including Conte, charcoal, watercolours, acrylics and oils. He hopes his work will ‘convey a visual commentary on the societal contradictions through distinctly selected subjects’. By painting realistic portraits using these mediums, Idowu’s work is brilliant through technique, resemblance, skill and colour.
Idowu draws inspiration from the human body and his immediate environments situated in every aspect of his life. “My purpose as an artist is to give back to the society what it gave to me, so I always try to make art that solves every human and societal puzzle.”
Witness VI (Being Black Series)
His ideologies and philosophy view art as a vital part of human existence and strongly believes challenges make an individual stronger. Although he received an invitation for an art award he won in London in 2013, he was unable to attend due to financial setbacks, yet he accepts this made him stronger as an artist. He also hopes to empower youths in the country: “Youth empowerment is a key factor in any developed society. So to speak, as a Nigerian Youth, I believe the best way to empower youths is to create platforms where their voices can be heard and having self-reliance as end product, which would help reduce government dependency”.
Idowu has participated in numerous exhibitions in Nigeria, which helped believe in himself a little more and reassured him of his artistic purpose. These exhibitions include being a finalist of the Union Bank Centenary Art Challenge, working with Ur4africa for a mural at Ikeja Police Headquarters, and working at Berger bridge mural for Lagos@50 with House of Bezalel.
Idowu’s latest project ‘Condolence Book’ aims to talk about “how our reward may be instant on earth through people's remarks about us. Therefore, establishing the need for one to live every moment intentionally, love and forgive people easily and make an impact when and where they can”.