Moses Zibor

Moses Zibor
Born 1978, Surulere, Lagos -Nigeria. Lives and works in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Moses Zibor, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and based in Almaty, Kazakhstan is as enigmatic and mystical as the figures and themes he depicts in his hyper surrealist portraits. Prior to his birth, he recounts a story told to him by his mother, in which an elderly lady known for her prophetic prowess, informed her that she would give birth to a ‘special child with many hands’ who would have a gift for inspiring and encouraging others to dream and pursue their purpose. True to the eerie decree of the elderly woman, Moses’ otherworldly works enchants its viewers with its supernatural elements and invites us to see beyond the natural and physical world, and step into the realms of the unseen and unknown. Whilst the artist excelled in visual arts throughout his childhood and adolescence and later topped his class at the esteemed Yaba College of Technology, which boasts one of Nigeria’s leading art departments, he first acknowledged his innate talent for art at 7 years old, coinciding with his earliest memories of the hyper surreal dreams he had, and still continues to experience to this day. The overwhelming and profound nature of these dreams, the figment of a hyperactive imagination that has transcended and endured childhood, is evident in the recurring motifs of water in the artist’s paintings. In several of his works, such as Dream Infinity, the artist’s figures are submerged and suspended in water, surrounded by aquatic creatures and motifs, such as fountains and fish. This a clear nod to the ethereal nature of his dreams in which man can survive and thrive underwater, but also to the African mysticism element of his work, which speaks to folktales and fables such as Mami Wata and the world of water spirits and black mermaids. In other works by the artist, he relays a more universal and humanist appeal to pursue one’s dreams and ambitions. Another recurring motif in his paintings are footballs, as well as hexagons in the background of his work, which is also reminiscent of the classic football pattern the artist was acquainted with in the 1980’s and 90’s. In works such as, Immigrants in the USSR, Only the wise and A man and his books, the reference to football speaks squarely to the artist’s personal love of, and pursuit of football as a profession, and past time, a passion which saw him leave Nigeria for the first time for Kazakhstan, where he now hones his craft. The act of leaving Nigeria for greener pastures and to chase one’s dreams, is known as ‘Jakpa’ in the Yoruba language, and loosely translates as ‘to run hard’. In the instance of the artist, his leaving Nigeria for an unknown country, culture and lifestyle, through the vehicle of football, left an indelible impact on him, which he constantly reminds us of through the football motifs in his work. In the artist’s own words, in a world of chaos, confusion and conformity, he wants viewers of his work to dream, and be inspired to live a life outside of the usual and ordinary, and not accept the status quo. In his own pursuit to better understand himself, the world he lives in, and indeed the world he doesn’t want to exist in, Moses takes a leaf out of the book of modern masters such as Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali. In homage to Frida Kahlo, Moses’ works includes self portraits of himself as the muse, and the subject he is trying to know best, in a world of uncertainty and loss of self. He invites the audience to see themselves in his work, and try to figure out who they are, and who they really should be. More significantly, after a seven year hiatus from painting after his short stint as a footballer, the artist gravitated towards the freedom and spell binding nature of Salvador Dali’s surrealism work, which reignited is early love of art, and culminated in the existing style and practice he has since embraced and excelled in to date. Enchanting, mesmerising and mystical in composition, colour palette and style, Zibor’s works are aesthetically complex as they are technically strong, portraying an artist who has not only mastered their craft over several years, but also thoroughly researched the themes, motifs and narratives that underpins their work. Raphael DAPAAH Art Consultant, Art writer, Art Curator OOA GALLERY London

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  1. Moses Zibor
    The secret key
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    Self resolution
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  3. Moses Zibor
    Me and my Butterfly I
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    Free at last
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  5. Moses Zibor
    I am behind you
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    Stay with me
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  7. Moses Zibor
    Womanhood
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    Immigrants in USSR
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  9. Moses Zibor
    Dream Infinity
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  10. Moses Zibor
    Money Eyes
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    Only the wise
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  12. Moses Zibor
    Reincarnation
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