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Chidi Ozieh Decodes His Paintings

March 9, 2012

At the opening program for his show, artist Chidi Ozieh "decoded" his work which had just been hung in the Biddle Hall Gallery.   

Raised in London and Nigeria, his narrative of his life drew envy from the audience as he described his international lifestyle. Clearly comfortable on any continent having lived in Germany, Italy, England and France, Ozieh told the audience, "It's not so hard to travel.  You have to travel - you have to interact with different cultures. It doesn't cost much - especially in Europe."

Ozieh has dual degrees in art and music although he considers himself to be mostly self taught. "My art form needed to be worked on after my formal education. I base my work on philosophical writings. My technique involves many prep drawings where I get the details down on paper and then determine the color palette. When I paint, I use a wet on wet technique to emphasize spontaneity."

His subjects are figurative, and predominately women. He explains,  "I love to paint women and water, showing the way they move. I have great compassion for women. Women all over the world have had to overcome more hardship in the world than men." Currently he is working on a series "The Masquerade" which reflects his impression that people walk around not being themselves but are wearing different "masks."

His first show was in St. Paul's Cathedral in London, and his American debut was in Houston, Texas. "There is an amazing art culture in England but it's hard to break in over there. Where the UK is 'old establishment, I find America is more open to my work."

With so many aptitudes Ozieh has had a productive career, focusing on music as a teenager before moving into art. Also a screenwriter, he has directed 2 films and has a feature film in the works.

"Filmmaking captures all my talents - music, art, and writing. It is possible to be a successful artist.  Don't let anyone tell you differently.  I sell out nearly every show.  If you have a good business mind and are dedicated, you can succeed."

The paintings are on view in Biddle Hall Gallery through March 30. Gallery Hours are Monday and Wednesday 10:30 – 1:30 and by appointment by calling 610-399-2334.