Uzo Njoku

Uzo Njoku is a breakout painter working with oils, acrylics and patterns. As a University of Virginia graduate with a B.A. in Studio Art, she is preparing for her MFA at the New York Academy of Art this fall. Njoku’s works explore the current landscape of contemporary figurative paintings, particularly women of color addressing the salient topics and issues of the 21st century — from race, gender to privacy, social media, and love.

“We are living in a time that’s ripe with debate over what it means to be either a female or woman of color.”

Njoku carefully uses her artwork to empower women of color by giving them uncommon poses and intriguing facial expressions. Each figurative painting speaks to the present and offers glimpses into the future.

Over lockdown, Njoku has widened her artistic experience by experimenting with the commercial side of art production. In doing so, she explores the link between her paintings and product design.

Uzo Njoku (b. 1996) was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the United States at the age of 7. Njoku currently lives and works in NYC. In 2019 she received her BA from the University of Virginia in Studio Art. She incorporates intricate Ankara patterns to juxtapose her figures within the composition. Additionally, Njideka Crosby, Kehinde Wiley, and David Hockney influence Njoku.

 

Biography

Born in 1996 Lagos, Nigeria
Lives and works in NYC, USA

 

Education

2019 BA Studio Art, University of Virginia, Virginia, US
Semester abroad – University of the Arts London, London, UK

 

Solo Exhibitions

2021
A Space of My Own, Voltz Clarke Gallery, New York, New York, US
2018
Out of the Shadows, Welcome Gallery, Virginia, US
Summer Bliss, New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, Virginia, US
Yellow Fever: America, Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Universalist, Virginia, US

2017
Azi Kitaa: Youth of Nowadays, Fine and Country West Africa, Lagos, Nigeria
Azị Kịtaa: Youth of Nowadays, Barracks Road, Virginia, US

 

Group Exhibitions

2019
AXA Art Prize, New York Academy of Art, New York, US
Sotheby’s Student Auction, London, UK
Distance, The Artesian Well, London, UK

2018
Senior Thesis, Ruffin Gallery, Virginia, US

2017
Black Renaissance: For The Culture, Congress Heights Art & Culture Center, Washington DC, US

 

Projects

2020 Libre: in collaboration with ArtLeadHer, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. October 2020. Online

 

Press

2020
Yaptangco, Ariana. “YSL Beauty’s Latest Collaboration Celebrates Black Expression“ Elle 29th October 2020. Online
Leigh, Tiffany. “YSL Beauté Celebrates Libre Eau De Parfum Anniversary With BIPOC Artist Collaboration” Forbes 27th October 2020. Online
Leung, Gabrielle. “Art for Your Home: Virgil Abloh Chair, Joy Yamusangie Mixed Media Piece & More” Hypebeast 7th July 2020. Online
Moledor, Payton. “Far From Finished: Alumna Uzo Njoku’s Art Business Soars” UVA Today, 18th June 2020. Online.
Gray, Austen. [Interview] “A First Look at Uzo Njoku” Art of Choice 9th June 2020. Online
Washingtonian Staff. “What It’s Like To Not Be Able to Pay Your Rent” Washingtonian 30th April 2020. Online.

2019
Powers, Mitchell. “Student Spotlight: Meet Fourth-Year Student Artist Uzo Njoku” UVA Today, 7th January 2019. Online

2018
O’Hare, Erin & Keaveny, Tami. “About Last Year: Looking Back at 2018” C-Ville 26th December 2018. Online
O’Hare, Erin. “First Fridays: December 7” C-Ville 5th December 2018. Online
Newman, Caroline. “Women of Color: Student’s Coloring Book Educates, Inspires – and Sells”, UVA Today 4th October 2018. Online
White, Erin. “This Coloring Book Aims to Empower Girls of Color” Afropunk 23rd August 2018.
Online O’Hare, Erin. “Drawing attention: Uzo Njoku’s The Bluestocking Society colors outside the lines”, C-Ville 22nd August 2018. Online
Hamblin, Brianna. “Local Artist Publishes Coloring Book to Empower Women.” CBS19 28th July 2018. Online
Lee, Hojung. “The Unstoppable Uzo” HackCville 3rd February 2018. Online

2017
UVA, V Magazine. “Uzo Njoku – V Magazine” Issuu 9th May 2017. Online

 

Publications

2018
Njoku, Uzo. “The Bluestocking Society: a Coloring Book” UzoArt LLC. ISBN 9780692146248. 2018