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Meet the Nigerian Artist Visualizing Africa’s Future by Reaching into the Past 

As a celebrated Afrofuturist, Nigerian artist, Dennis Osadebe, uses bold color and graphic imagery to challenge perceptions about Africa. With an eye toward the future, he taps imagery from the culture’s past in an effort to educate the world about Africa and to shine a light on its future potential. In Dennis Osadebe’s “Nigerian Dream,” two figures clad in fuscia and mustard yellow stare out of the painting. Their facial features are obscured by a traditional tribal mask and a futuristic space helmet. The piece parodies the 1930 Grant Wood painting “American Gothic,” but exchanges a rural farmhouse for a modern home, and a pitchfork for an electric fan — a staple for beating the heat in Nigeria. “Nigerian Dream” is an example of “Neo African” art, a term Osadebe said he coined to describe work that rebels against stereotypes around African art. His style has captivated audiences around the world, and even won the approval of tennis champion Naomi Osaka.