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Towards the end of my adolescence I was struck with the belief that life would grow terribly mundane without art, eccentricity, flair; it is the very reason people wish to stay alive. I had all this energy, this seething desire to simply be artful in every which way: through speech, dress, movement. And now I work as an artist through these very mediums--writing, photography, video, fashion--to engage this idea of artful expression. In fact, this urge to take what lies within--my identity--and radiate it into the world is something that I believe I felt as a little child. But somehow, as I grew something changed. I became more guarded and unassertive. Through my work I find myself in recurrent dialogue with my past self asking how this came to be: who boxed you in? Who hurt you? What made them believe that there was something wrong with a black boy expressing himself in unconventional ways? What is “conventional”? Who are you truly? Growing up in a Nigerian home in a predominantly African-American neighborhood; school days surrounded by peers that considered me to be too black; textbooks that considered my history to be unworthy; Sundays spent in a predominantly black christian church with a white pastor; these events and more have made these questions difficult to answer. However, traveling the roads that they’ve built is the very essence of my work--searching, expressing, becoming.