Artist of the Week – Williams Chechet

By Adefoyeke Ajao
Vibrant: the word that comes to mind when you see Williams Chechet’s artworks. Born in Kano and raised in Kaduna, Chechet’s designs are bold and modulated by popular culture and Afrofuturism. The graduate of Industrial Design is a multimedia artist who is as proficient with digital tools as he is with pencils and sketchpads.

 

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Chechet’s work offers a therapeutic and colourful twist, whether he is displaying his versatility as an illustrator, muralist or graphic artist. His creations have featured at local and international events such as TEDx Maitama, the Kaduna Book and Art Festival, and the 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in Morocco and have also graced a slew of album sleeves and building walls.

 

 

“We are the North” one of his most renowned projects, explores his Northern heritage and his fascination with the beauty of African history and culture. This collection reimagines elements of Northern culture as part of a futuristic dimension, with Chechet incorporating elements of Pop Art and Afro-futurism onto digital portraits of Northern icons and artefacts. He places some of these monochrome characters on riotously-colourful backgrounds and transforms them into badass characters reminiscent of tech-noir films. This technique of creating an alternate technoculture is repeated in his “Royal Niger Series”, but this time his protagonists are some of Nigeria’s past heroes whose portraits are taken from Naira notes and situated within comic illustrations.

 

 

Chechet’s practice defines a nexus between retrospective and perspective. Regardless of his motive or underlying theme, he has a capacity to transform otherwise familiar and mundane images into lively spectacles; compelling us to accept objects we might hitherto have taken for granted.
To see more of Williams Chechet’s work, visit his Art635 page or his Instagram profile @williamschechet
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