Inspired by his personal experiences growing up in Nigeria and the current state of society around him, Arinze is driven by creating drawings that trigger a degree of emotional connection between the viewers and his artworks. Using his works as a form of social and political activism, Arinze hopes to use his art to speak for those who can’t speak out for themselves.
Amazed by the message behind Stanley's work, Bored Panda reached out to this incredibly talented artist to learn more, and you can find an interview with him below!
Cotton And Denim
Bored Panda asked Arinze if there was any particular reason why he used graphite pencil instead of any other art technique.
"I always found drawing to be an amazing avenue to get away. Because of that, I found the pencil strokes to be incredibly mesmerizing.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been the 'drawing guy' that used to be the best artist in class and you know, it stuck with me. Growing up and finally discovering the purpose and relevance of my gift and with everything going on in the world right now, it makes sense to me. All in all, drawing simply takes me away."
We took some time to find out about one of his most recent and popular pieces, which is called “Mindless 2.” We find the story behind it to be mesmerizing.
'I'm fascinated by how people make decisions based on religious and ethnic factors. For example, in Nigeria, a lot of different people in the same ethnic group are segregated by their different ideologies. So I wanted to ask people, “Are you making today’s decisions based on one of these ideologies? Are your decisions yours or are they guided by the larger society?”
When you see hands in my drawings, it represents something meaningful to me. For example, in my “Mindless” series, hands represent the major contributors to division in today’s society, such as our social, political, tribal, or religious differences.'
A Very Real Toy Gun For Boys
Stanley believes that his art is a reflection of his perceptions about society.
"When viewers approach my artworks, the questions that usually pop up are my choice of subjects and the expressions they depict, but the more these questions are asked, the more I realize that I don't have the verbal answers to these questions; rather, my art is a reflection of my perception about the realities in my society; a simple language of my feelings."
Black Noise 1
Paranormal Portrait #2
Beaten Blue And Black
The best inspiration for art one can get seemingly comes from life itself, and Stanley agrees with this statement too.
"I draw inspiration from life experiences and basically everything that sparks a feeling of necessity. I find myself spending countless hours working on artwork to stimulate deep and strong emotions in order to connect more intimately with my viewers."
The artist has a very unique reason as to why he loves drawing portraits so much.
"I love portraiture and realism. I admire how everyone is so unique but different at the same time… I love how people have various ways of expressing themselves as this is very vital to my work because sometimes I feel a connection to those expressions, and that connection gives birth to most of my art, so I draw almost every day.
It’s like a journey, you know... the more you keep going, the more you keep understanding how the world works. Sometimes it can be small things such as understanding how light and shadow interact with the faces of people I see. This drives me to keep trying to learn more every day."
People And Paper 1
When it comes to inspiration and motivation, he has some favorite artists too.
"Well, there is a wide range of artists whose works I love. A few of them are Kelvin Okafor, Peter Paul Rubens, Joel Rea, Emanuelle Dascanio, etc. To be honest, the list goes on and on."
The Machine Man #2
The Machine Man #8
He loves what he does, and with the way the world around us is right now, he says he doesn’t have time to feel demotivated.
"I like learning more about my world and the stories of everything that’s going on, so there’s no way I don’t feel motivated. There’s a lot going on in the world today, almost so much that it’s very hard to process and these are the things that inspire my creations. For example, sometimes I have to meditate to absorb most of what’s going on in the world. I’m always in the drawing mood because everything inspires me."
Wailing Wailing And Wailing
In October of 2020, Arinze has an upcoming exhibition called “Paranormal Portraits” and we were really curious about the idea behind it.
"In my latest show, Paranormal Portraits, I put together a new body of works to navigate my viewers to a surreal and almost psychedelic experience of living in Nigeria and being black in the 21st century."