<span>Duke Asidere</span>

Duke Asidere was born in Lagos in 1961. His father was a sailor with the Elder Dempster company while his mother ran the household. The early influence of his mother would play a significant role in his art – his depiction of women as strong, powerful, wise figures.

His passion for art started in Secondary school in Lagos. He enrolled in the art department of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, then flourishing under the guidance of Gani Odutokun. Learning in the intellectually vibrant atmosphere of the ABU art school encouraged his aversion for conformity. He graduated in 1988 with a 1st class degree and stayed on to do a Master’s degree in art .

His next stop was The Federal Polytechnic Auchi. He joined the school’s art department in 1990. Along with Ben Osaghae and Sam Ovraiti, Asidere would play a major role in putting Auchi firmly on the Nigerian art map. The Auchi artists worked together and influenced each other The result of this osmosis was a group that gloried in colour. For them colour subjugated form, structure – everything else. It was to be enjoyed, celebrated. His art would blend the intellectual curiousity of Zaria and the exuberance of Auchi.

In 1995, Asidere moved to Lagos to set up his art studio. In his art, he explored the streets of Lagos – its energy and chaos. He explored the state of the society – the insanity of politics, the decrepit infrastructure and the subtle degradation of the society. He also explored, as he always had, the strength and bravery of the women around him, a constant homage to the mother.

He did a brief stint at the art department of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ughelli. The art school was new and needed qualified lecturers to guide through its infancy. He agreed to spend some time there and thought art there between 2003 and 2005.

He returned to Lagos where he has remained. Gregarious, opinionated, impulsive. Painting, drawing and dragging other artists along when he can to create art about Lagos and its inhabitants.