In the vibrant city of Lagos, Vanessa Onyinyechukwu Fọláṣadé Ofomata known as VOFO or VOFO arts, reigns as an enigmatic yet tirelessly active force—an ‘artgod,’ as they define themselves. A step into VOFO’s bedroom, a space reminiscent of a traditional African shrine at first glance, reveals the sheer abundance of ideas and inspiration that pulsate within them.
Amidst an array of artworks, diverse in shape, material, and color, VOFO’s keen sense of neatness and arrangement transforms chaos into an intriguing narrative that could captivate an observer for days, if not months and beyond.
Often drawing comparisons to the iconic Jean-Michel Basquiat of the 1980s New York art scene, VOFO shares an ‘avant-gardiste’ nature with the late legend. Their expressions of insanity, lust, satire, confusion, and glee, though masterfully executed, exude an air of chaotic spontaneity.
This chaos, however, stems from the urgency with which VOFO creates. Driven by an incessant stream of dreams and ideas, they craft art as a response to an internal need—a duty, or an illimitable impulse rather than a mere artistic endeavor.
Rejecting the label of ‘Artist,’ VOFO prefers the term ‘Artgod,’ a self-coined title that aptly captures their profound relationship with their work and its observers. For VOFO, art is an extension of oneself, and they passionately encourage everyone to tap into their own wells of creativity.
Even the children fortunate enough to be within the vicinity of VOFO have become unwitting recipients of inspiration, drawn in by the magnetic force of their unique work processes.
This seemingly innocuous connection has the potential to sow the seeds of a new era of art creation and appreciation. This isn’t just about paint on canvas, or sculptures in galleries. It is about fostering an environment where individual stories, emotions, and perspectives are embraced and celebrated.
It is about a living zeitgeist like VOFO emerging and making people understand that art is a universal experience, it is meant for everyone, and as long as you have a mind of your own, you are capable of creating your own art, removing the thin veil of elitism that sometimes covers the world of art.
Echoing the spirit of Basquiat, VOFO symbolizes the freedom that accompanies artistic renaissance within a specific time and place. Over the past decade, Lagos state, Africa’s most populous state and Nigeria’s creative hub, has witnessed an unprecedented surge in visual art recognition.
Gallery powerhouses like ‘Rele’ and the recently renamed ‘Wunika Mukan’ gallery have emerged, offering the wider populace opportunities to immerse in art-gallery experiences and cultivate a deeper appreciation for art history and creativity.
As Lagos’ art world gains momentum and the material world faces challenges, VOFO continues to blur the lines between realities. One brushstroke at a time, they navigate the intersection of chaos and creation, crafting a unique artistic narrative that captivates minds and transcends boundaries.