Buchi Upjohn Aghaji
Buchi Upjohn Aghaji
Buchi Upjohn Aghaji

Buchi Upjohn Aghaji

Buchi Upjohn Aghaji

Buchi Upjohn Aghaji

Buchi Upjohn Aghaji



Click here to order

all thumbnails are cropped
click thumbnail or title to view full work

Art is only as good as the feelings it produces within us. That is why I reach within searching for my experiences to paint from them…my good experiences.



Nigerian born artist, Buchi Upjohn Aghaji dips his brush into vastly different hues when creating his works. He expresses his art through a variety of media including oil, watercolor and acrylic on cold-pressed paper, canvas, burlap, wood and pottery. The result is a refreshing change from the contemporary trend in Afro-centric painting. Aghaji says he was always interested in painting, his studies at the university steered him into the advertising field where he worked for a year in Nigeria. It wasn’t until he moved to England that he realized he could pursue his painting full time.

Always open to travel and new experiences, Aghaji decided to move to the United States. He spent three years in New York where he says at first his work was met with some resistance due to its break from tradition. He has held fast to the idea that "An appreciation and enjoyment of a thing of beauty is a freeing experience in itself". One must have that freedom to appreciate and interpret the beauty of art. This explains why his work takes a semi-abstract quality yet possessing a vibrance that makes you stop and take notice of the rhythm of the painting.

He also uses the traditional "Uli" motifs found in his tribe, the Igbos of Nigeria that displays a unique form of expression. Uli is the art of body decorations, consisting of lines and patterns that convey such admirable qualities as the strength, fertility, humility and compassion of the individuals they adorn. He states that using uli motifs enables him to remind everyone that these inner qualities are what we must seek to cultivate. This combining of the best of the "old" and the "new" come together make his work a unique and exhilarating experience.

Upjohn’s work has received much recognition and acclaim in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The president of Nigeria and numerous private collectors in England, Germany, America and Africa have collected his work.



Philadelphia, PA-May 26, 2001-ArtJaz Gallery is pleased to present a new serigraph by Artist Buchi Upjohn Aghaji released at New York International Art Expo, Javits Convention Center March 1- 3, 2003

Artjaz Gallery is located in Philadelphia and established in 1999. ArtJaz Gallery specializes in contemporary fine art, originals and limited edition reproductions by
local and national artists of color.

Artjaz Gallery is introducing a limited edition of serigraph prints of the painting"Trio by Buchi Upjohn Aghaji. These outstanding prints will be available for sale on March 1, 2003 at www.artjaz.com. Buchi Upjohn Aghaji, who prefers to be known as Upjohn, is a Nigerian born artist who came to the United States in 1989. Academically trained, Mr. Aghaji combines modalities of modernism with an African derived aesthetic. He works with a brilliant palette that is intense and vibrant.

Upjohn primarily focuses on painting in acrylics. He builds up his canvases and works on paper with paint applied with a palette knife. He then overlays color upon color, which results in a resilient array of textures. What makes Upjohn’s use of color significant is that the forms and shapes employed look as if they possess an interior light source. He may use twenty colors to arrive at the desired effect. To capture Upjohn’s color sensibility and multi-layered approach to creating his color scheme, the printers of the serigraph used more than forty separations to approximate the luminosity of Upjohn’s palette.

" Trio" is a work of brilliant hues orchestrated in a manner that resonates within this composition of fragmented elements. The image depicts three musicians, one playing an up right bass and the other two wood wind instruments. Primary and secondary colors dominate, giving the reds and yellows a luminous veneer. A crucial component to Upjohn’s composition is the reduction of shapes to their bare essence and the use of linear elements to construct spatial relationships that are tightly woven together. The composition is compact with every area of the surface activated. Influenced by Cubism, Upjohn infuses lessons learned in his compositions; however, rather than delineating multiple views of an object or subject, Upjohn incorporates a linear and reductive approach to the shapes and forms used in his work. The relationship Upjohn’s work has to Cubism is the formulation of planes that lends itself to a quasi-abstract appearance.
In lieu of the strong directional thrust of linear elements, "Trio" possesses a fluidity that defies its angular delineations. Robust figures comprise a central unit in the work and there is an overall feeling of movement. The viewer’s gaze is guided across the surface in rhythmical patterns.

The serigraph captures all the nuances of the original painting. A team of master printers has worked diligently to create an edition that is as dynamic as the original work. The challenge of bringing to life the vibrancy of Upjohn’s work has been achieved through a close analysis of the painting and building up the print surface to capture the quality of light, texture and coloration evident in the painting. The careful handling of the silkscreen process lends itself to transforming images as rich as those produced by Buchi Upjohn Aghaji.

Upjohn’s most recent works focus on musical themes. He states, "I always dance around the musical themes because through music we can experience the beauty of harmony and through [the visual] arts we participate in the harmony of colors. I hope the vibrancy of "Trio" brings joy to the viewer."