The Negro Medusa: An Interview With Nweke Peleth Chukwuemeka
With every piece of Artwork, Peleth does not only get better, but he also slowly creates his niche and style. Be that as it may, I believe the true beauty of art lies not in the prior consistency of the artist, but the story and inspiration behind the Art. Peleth has created fascinating Artworks such as Torn Between and Whilom King in the past. However, there is something special about the Negro Medusa. It surely has something to do with the peaceful Ankara aesthetic, enchanting eyes and piercing gaze that turns every heart into stone. Thankfully, I got to have a chat with the brains behind the wonderful Art.
Tell us briefly about yourself
My name is Nweke Peleth Chukwuemeka, I’m from Enugu state, although I’ve lived in Benin City all my life. I’m 23 years old, an artist, and a student. I’m currently studying Plant Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Benin.
How did you make a career out of fine art?
Since I was little I’ve always loved to draw, but it was just for fun at first. When deciding on a career path, I didn’t see any way to make a living off art at the time, so I opted to study a science-related course and get a degree in it. But in 2015, I first came across the concept of hyperrealism, and ever since, I’ve been fascinated by the prospects of it. I did my research and got to know about a lot of artists making waves out there with their art, so I made up my mind to do just that, and I haven’t regretted it.
What inspired the Negro Medusa?
I watched a documentary on the Greek goddess Medusa long ago, and occasionally I come across references being made to her. So it struck me that I should make a piece of art on the goddess last year. But I didn’t start it until now. Back then I was thinking of a way to make my own standout. So I thought; “why not bring both Greek and African cultures together? Why not embody the power, beauty, and regal nature of the Greek mythological goddess in an African woman? And thus Negro Medusa was born.
Did you collaborate with anyone in creating this artwork?
Yes, I collaborated with my friend and partner Ben Oseghe to create the painting. He is the brain behind Artdicts studio. He majorly worked on the Ankara pattern and the clouds in the painting. And this is the first of many collaborations with him.
How long did it take you to complete the whole piece?
When drawing, I hardly keep track of time, but I’d say approximately 120+ hours.
How do you want people to perceive this piece of Art?
First, I like to see it as a way of creating oneness between people and cultures, since the concept of Medusa is originally of Greek origin, so creating this Greek personality in an African setting helps create a feeling of oneness. It’s also a metaphor for heartbreak, any man Medusa sets eyes on turns stone, even his heart. There are many damaged people, only a few still believe in love and redemption. Metaphorically many hearts have turned to stone.
Is it for sale? If yes, how much?
Yes, the painting is up for sale, it is priced at 500$. The dimensions are 2ft by 3ft.
Will you say it is among your most favorite drawings? If yes, why?
Yes, of course, it’s among my favorite artworks. That would be because I believe every work of art I create should be better than the last one, and it’s my first collaboration as well, so I really love the fact that we got to add some colors to the artwork.