•Emmanuel Eni sitting in front of one of his works.

By Prisca Sam-Duru

Nigerian-German Artstar, Emmanuel Eni, popularly known as Blackman in European Kitchen, has seized the opportunity of the celebration of his three decades of art practice, which has not only taken him all over the globe, but also won him fame worldwide, to harp on the need for collaboration between Nigerian artists across the globe.

To achieve maximum cooperation, Eni has tasked the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe OON, on the need to create a working bridge to accelerate the unity and combined powers of Nigerian diaspora artists and their fellows in Nigeria.

While appreciating both, as well as their ministries for work done so far in Arts and Culture, Eni noted that such synergy will bring in the much-needed missing input in the working and structural growth of arts within the country while at the same time, projecting the Nigerian and African Art internationally.

The artist also pointed out that “Art education and cultural inward and outward projection are vital in the development and export of arts which in turn, is pivotal to increasing the country’s GDP. The collaboration, he noted further, “will create more platforms for business for budding artists to learn and showcase their talents, while promoting the art trade of existing masters, both the living and the ones who already passed on.”

The philosopher expects that in 2022, both the ministry and parastatal would endeavour to select artists from the diaspora to participate in shows through direct invitation for seminars and exhibitions in Nigeria, without having to set up committees. The focus of such arrangement is to project works of foreign and self-exiled artists from Nigeria alongside those of their Nigerian counterparts.

For the Blackman in European Kitchen, the European institutes in Nigeria and abroad have constantly created opportunities for diasporan artists to pilgrim home to show their works in Nigeria, thus presenting updates of arts and culture activities and trade.

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And as a means to achieve more this year, he appealed to the Nigeria Ministry of Culture to draw a list of practising and well known foreign-based Nigerian artists with the aim of assisting to sponsor their shows in Nigeria, be it solo or group exhibitions.

This, he suggested, can be a quarterly or yearly “Art feast for Nigeria.” In the same spirit, he called on all state commissioners for Art and Culture to do the same, promising to volunteer his services in setting up and organising such home rerun which he tags: Diaspora Nigerian indigene Art Re-run.

“The Honourable Minister and Commissioners can reach out to me on my social media platforms like Facebook, so that I can help to set up this machinery which is an urgent art and cultural call for 2022,” he said.

Recently listed in Forbes, Imdb, and various online and print media as one of the most successful and most popular artists, the poet and philosopher, who stands as one of Nigeria’s most celebrated artists, is considered to be one of the most outstanding contemporary artists from Africa and the western world.

The Guardian describes his work as an iconoclast of uncommon proportions.

He is the inventor and patent holder of New “LightPaintings” Art, the philosopher of the theses “contemporary Barock art” – the union of all aspects of art, author and performer of “Blackman in European Kitchen” and is also known as the “sculptor of the elephants”. His famous works include “Israel and Palestine” installation, and “Death of the curator”.

As an accomplished poet, he has publications such as “Masquaradeundressing”, “Universes of Water”, “Death of the curator” Drama and his newly published 321-page Anthology of his poems titled, “Kindonkind”.

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