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Artists to View: Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze

February 16, 2018

Photo Courtesy of

If there is one thing I am obsessed with, in terms of art, it would be portraits. And not just any portraits, but those that have been abstracted in nonsensical ways that ultimately make sense. This is apparent in my own work, but I always find myself craving to see more from other artists. It’s an exciting aesthetic experience when I’m actually able to find an artist that inspires me in this way. Poetic, expressive, imaginative, and beautiful are all words that can describe Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze’s striking illustrations.

Similarly to Trenton Doyle Hancock, Amanze’s current drawings tell the story of an alien, Ada, and her group of creature friends. According to Amanze’s statement, these creatures are Audre the Leopard, Pidgin, Twin, Merman, Ofunne and the ghosts. The story of these characters is ongoing, but it doesn’t follow a specific narrative; the creatures are just seen in different environments that resemble real-life and others that don’t.

“Peering through you, to our neon structures in place of hearts. You are loved left and right, so we skate upside down and sit on galaxies (something that is partially true. Something that makes no sense). Space is a malleable construct. As are we. Nothing is broken. Nothing is lost. All of time happens in multiples” (Amanze’s statement). The nonsensical, yet poetic nature of this section of Amanze’s statement is the perfect written representation of her work.

Amanze was born in Nigeria but is currently based in New York and Philadelphia. She attended Temple University for her B.F.A. and the Cranbrook Academy of Art for her M.F.A. in 2006. She is also a Fulbright Scholarship recipient for her drawings to the University of Nigeria Nsukka. You can follow her on Instagram @ruby_onyinyechi_amanze.

Lily Guillen
Photography Manager

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