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Meet the Nigerian Artist Illustrating the Human Experience with a Ballpoint Pen

Jacqueline Suowari is a creative juggernaut, who does things big with something very small.  Wielding a ballpoint pen, she creates hyper-scaled portraits one stroke at a time. Painstaking and precise, the process culminates in rich characters with important messages. Suowari, 31, has been an artist since she was a child, practicing professionally for over a decade. She studied Fine Art at the University of Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria and has participated in group exhibitions globally and had solo exhibitions in Miami and Nigeria. Her work has been featured in several publications including Chukwuemeka Ben Bosah’s book, “The Art of Nigerian Women,” which celebrates female artists from the Nigerian diaspora. This June she launched a touring exhibition of her new body of work entitled “Now I Wear Myself.” In her new exhibition, Suowari considers the fetishization and condemnation of aesthetics associated with indigenous Nigerian cultures and tries to destigmatize subjects that are often taboo in the country, like depression, grief and shame.