Look at Me

by Flora Nwakobi

Flora Nwakobi is an 18-year-old artist from Tkarón:to (Toronto) with ambitious goals, including exploring and vocalizing their individuality through the arts. Their unique perspective can be seen through all of their creative endeavors, but it is their fine art pieces that especially grabbed our attention, for their ability to effectively “vocalize” to the viewer. We selected these pieces of Flora’s art because of their strong sense of urgency, and for their ability to speak through the medium. When looking at pieces like “Spike Ass N*” the viewer can almost hear the surrealist scream coming from the vibrant red and contrasting phthalo blue background. In the kaleidoscopic piece, “Egotistical,” the subject looks directly at the viewer almost as if to say, “can you hear me?” The colors they select are dynamic, animated, and for lack of a better word— loud. So, is it any wonder that Flora concerns themselves with the concept of being heard through their art? They take this concept and heighten it and (if you’ll excuse the pun) turns the volume up, exaggerating lips and open mouths to force the viewer to hear their message.

This comes through in all of Flora’s work, they are passionate about sharing their life experiences in whichever medium necessary in order to best tell their story. They are a director, a writer, a visual artist, activist, and overall a creator. Looking at their Instagram (@flosbigtoes) you can see all of these passions at their point of convergence. They share not only their fine art but also their portraiture, some video projects, and their political activism in action.

They say that even during this difficult time, with Covid-19, the global Black Lives Matter protests, and everything else, they are actually inspired to create more. This drive to create art stems from their demand to be seen and heard through their art. They have taken this time to reflect on their feelings and thoughts as well as critique and challenge themself. They note in online interviews “Art has the ability to make social commentary in a way that news outlets cannot, and documenting moments like this through art is just crucial.” For this reason, they have recently decided to focus on selling their art alongside their other creative ventures.

For more information on the artist, you can visit their website: https://www.floranwakobi.com/ or follow their Instagram @flosbigtoes.

See this article and more in our issue two print release!