Sketches by Karo Akpokiere. Image courtesy of The Armory Show
Karo Akpokiere is a child of the 80s born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, on a robust and consistent diet of cartoons, comic books, and drawing time.
He received a diploma in Graphic Design from the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria in 2006. In his work, Akpokiere attempts to strike an effective balance between the personal and commercial aspects of production in graphic design, illustration, and pattern design. Using traditional and digital drawing techniques, he creates works that are experiential and reflective of his interests in employing graphic design, illustration, and patterns to communicate messages that are sometimes personal, humorous, and social.
Akpokiere has taken part in several exhibitions locally and internationally, including his first solo exhibition 26/365: An Exhibition of Illustrated Letters at the Goethe-Institut, Lagos, Nigeria (2011) and the first Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Public Art Exhibition, Lagos (2012). The buses featured a solo display of drawings by Akpokiere. The images were seen throughout Lagos on bus routes from Lagos Island to the mainland.
Akpokiere’s recent group exhibitions include the 56th Venice Biennale; 2nd Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin; Double Trouble exhibition, Kunsthalle M3, Berlin; the Comic-Zeichner Seminar Ausstellung at the Comic Salon Erlangen (2014), Another Africa – Contemporary Design in Africa, ULUPUH Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia (2013), Art Dubai, Markerprogram (2013), FAX exhibition, South London Gallery, London (2011), and The Green Summary Exhibition, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria (2010). His most recent solo exhibition, Old Drawings, was held at the Kunsthalle m3, Berlin (2015).
Akpokiere primarily lives and works in Lagos where he draws every day and explores avenues to make his work visible and accessible online and offline.