The Neon Museum announces the acquisition of a major new work by 2020 National Artist in Residence, Victor Ehikhamenor. “Like Water God Riding His Dragon” references a poem by Yusef Komunyakaa and incorporates neon elements within a sculpted canvas landscape of iconography.
Created during the 2020 Artist in Residence program and as part of the “What You Mean to Me” exhibition, the mixed-media, three-dimensional artwork represents the Nigerian-American artist’s first forays into incorporating neon tubing into his work. A two-time Venice Biennale exhibitor, as well as an accomplished photographer and writer, Ehikhamenor collaborated with members of the Las Vegas community to create large-scale drawings, sculptures and installation work inspired by the museum’s historic collection.
“’What You Mean To Me” marked Ehikhamenor’s first exhibition in the Western United States,” said Bruce Spotleson, acting executive director, The Neon Museum. “As part of the museum’s commitment to cultural enrichment, we are pleased to add Ehikhamenor’s contemporary artwork to our permanent collection.”
“Like Water God Riding His Dragon” will be displayed in the Museum’s expansion when it opens later in 2021, which will be located in what is now the Reed Whipple Cultural Center, located at 821 N Las Vegas Blvd. Additionally, virtual visitors can learn more about Ehikhamenor’s art by visiting the Neon Museum’s 360-degree, self-guided virtual exhibition which may be viewed for free here. For more information, go to https://www.neonmuseum.org/.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Victor Ehikhamenor is a Nigerian-American artist, photographer and writer. He has been prolific in producing abstract, symbolic and politically motivated works. A 2016 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow, Ehikhamenor was one of three artists to represent Nigeria at the first Nigerian Pavilion in the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. His work has been featured in numerous biennales, including the 5th Mediations Biennale in Poznan, Poland (2016) and the Biennale Jogja XIII, Indonesia (2015), and exhibited in London, Lagos and Washington D.C. Throughout his career, Ehikhamenor has maintained an interest in signs, symbols and language. The patterning that defines his work is a form of gestural abstraction reminiscent of written language.
As a writer, he has published both fiction and critical essays with academic journals, mainstream magazines and newspapers around the world including New York Times, BBC, CNN Online, Washington Post, AGNI and Wasafiri. He is the founder of Angels and Muse, a thought laboratory dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary African art. In 2013, Ehikhamenor collaborated with Nigerian fashion designer Ituen Basi to create the Ekemini collection which has been featured in Vogue Italia, and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion show. Ehikhamenor received his MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park. He maintains a studio in Lagos, Nigeria and Upper Marlboro, Maryland. http://victorehi.com