Valerie Nkesi Etitinwo, (1998)
Valerie Nkesi Etitinwo is a Nigerian artist born in Geneva, Switzerland. She joined Atelier Debrot (Geneva) from 2007 -2016 and was trained and mentored by professional artist Claire-Lise Debrot. She began to hone her craft and thus found new ways of applying her skill through mediums such as pottery, painting, charcoal, and collage. Finding herself drawn to the cubism movement, Valerie got the inspiration that she needed to create ‘outside the box of realism. “I’ve always admired artists who can draw realistic-looking images because I’ve never been able to do so. In fact, I got frustrated at some point and decided to do the complete opposite”. It was this abandonment of logic that helped Valerie find her own style using mainly acrylic to depict purported human figures and warped objects against vividly coloured backgrounds.
This approach also became a fitting metaphor for her experience as a first-generation immigrant in Switzerland. “I think that we are very unique. We don’t quite fit in with our surroundings, but we’re also light-years apart from our parent’s world. So, there’s no blueprint to follow. That’s it. That’s what my work is about.” Valerie has participated in exhibitions such as Breakthrough Artist, Artspace Warehouse, California, USA 2022, “Abstraction Taking Shape”,Kunstwarenhaus Zurich Switzerland 2022.