Osinachi (born Prince Jacon Osinachi Igwe, 24 October 1991) is a self-taught digital artist whose work explores personal experiences within a technological environment.
Osinachi, who grew up in Aba, Nigeria, produces drawings using Microsoft Word, where he utilizes the basic limited design palette of the word processing software to create narrative illustrations.
Africa’s foremost cryptoartist, Osinachi‘s works are further registered in the blockchain and sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). His cryptoart is well sought after on platforms such as SuperRare, Rarible, OpeanSea, R.A.R.E., Portion, and Makersplace. In 2018, he became the first-ever Nigerian artist to showcase artworks at the Ethereal Summit, a conference in New York that seeks to bridge the gap between technology and art through blockchain.
He was a finalist for the Bridgeman Studio Award 2019.
Osinachi’s Artnet profile can be viewed here.
Aesthetically and procedurally, Osinachi’s work explores visible existence as protest. The artist is interested in depicting and reimagining how individuals and collectives engage in advocacy for freedom of identity by thwarting societal expectations. This could be through the things they wear, the paraphernalia they adorn themselves with, or simply by being and existing in a form (albeit harmless) that the society frowns upon.
Through his work, Osinachi indirectly calls out the society to acknowledge its shame and failures. Drawing from his experiences as an Igbo person, he creates figurative portraits that feature subjects often posing in bold and assertive positions and, whether they are nude or dressed in African textile prints, they initiate conversations that most people are often hesitant to have around identity – sexual, gender, cultural and otherwise.
From a genuinely happy and successful single mother to a man in a dress, Osinachi’s subjects appear without eyes, prompting the viewer to shut their own eyes against physical appearances when judging an individual’s essence and worth. Sometimes, the artist takes a cue from ‘80s black-and-white portrait photographs, which he grew up seeing in homes across South-East Nigeria.
Creating his artworks digitally using Microsoft Word, Osinachi has developed a visual language that is solely his. His use of the software – one not meant as a professional tool for fine art – informs the themes of deviation and identity ownership, which occurs throughout his work. In addition, this process plays with the language of computers and its limited aesthetic parameters, and results in figurative compositions that veer to abstraction with flattened colors, intricate patterns and bold saturation – and are, at the same time, either provocative or evocative, or even both.
By making the subjects’ skin using silhouette-like images of old newspaper clippings, Osinachi is documenting the collective and individual history of the African peoples and their descendants, especially as it relates to identity, individual and collective.
Osinachi counts Devan Shimoyama, Tschabalala Self and Njideka Akunyili-Crosby as his major influences.