Arinze Stanley  is an artistic genius whose work is beyond imitation. Arinze’s work is the creation of life itself, full of its raw emotions on paper.  What he creates, leaves one asking questions such as; is this a digital photograph or a drawing?  How is it possible to create such remarkable drawings? Arinze pushes the boundaries of hyper-realistic art with his talent, and he is as close to a human camera forming images as we can get.

Arinze’s early interest in art was sparked by having paper around him as his family ran a paper company. Based in Nigeria, the hyper-realist artist has had his work showcased at the Insanity Exhibition in Lagos. The event was organised by Frot Foundation. The exhibition was hosted by Omenka Gallery. Arinze’s Disturbia series was showcased among nine other hyper-realist artists.

Read: Meet Martins Lawrence Akande, Nigeria’s talented hyper realistic pencil artist

To Arinze, making art is like energy transfer. He said on his instagram page, “I deeply feel I’m transferring all my energy and emotions from my life form to paper through my pencils. The affinity to create, a true image and nature of God.”

There is one unmistakable feature in all of Arinze’s drawings, the exploration of emotions, from desolation, famishment, insomnia, to implosion. Using coal on paper or graphite on paper, Arinze achieves the seemingly unimaginable. With some drawings taking up to 200 hours to complete, there’s no denying that the attention to detail and time spent on each drawing is worth it.

Arinze Stanley’s debut exhibition in 2016 at Omenka gallery in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
Photo: Twitter/ Arinze Stanley

When drawing hair in a portrait, he studies the kind of hair he’s using as reference, the volume of hair, the size of the strands of hair depending on the kind of hair. Starting his drawings from no specific place, he draws from places with the darkest value.

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Arinze started drawing professionally four years ago, and began exploring hyper-realism in 2012. He personally takes his reference photos armed with a Canon Rebel T5. When he started drawing, his intention was to improve daily and he practiced as much as possible. With an earpiece always plugged to his ears,  Arinze, a huge fan of Nigerian music always listens to music while working.

Not even Buhari escapes the pencil of Arinze Photo: Instagram/Arinze Stanley

The artist draws inspiration from almost everything around him, but he mostly gets his inspiration from other artists. According to Arinze, being a portrait artist has made him appreciate the varieties of human facial structures and details. Most times he ends up staring at people’s faces unconsciously.

Progress shot 8 ‘INSOMNIA’ Work done on Strathmore 300 Bristol (smooth) paper Size : 27″ X 42″ Medium : Graphite and charcoal pencils on paper. This creation lasted over 200 hours.
Photo: Instagram/Arinze Stanley

There is no doubt about how art in Nigeria has grown. Arinze joins the likes of Babajide Olatunji, Kelvin Okafor, Martins Lawrence Akande among a growing list of other celebrated hyper-realist artists from Nigeria.

Here is one of his photo-realistic drawing in progress:

Progress shot 1 ‘Till He comes’ Photo: Instagram/Arinze Stanley

 

Progress shot 2. ‘Till He comes’ Photo: Instagram/Arinze Stanley

 

Progress shot 5. ‘Till He comes’ Photo: Instagram/Arinze Stanley

 

Arinze Stanley working on a piece titled ‘Till he comes’ Photo: Instagram/ Arinze Stanley
Progress shot 7. ‘Till He comes’ Photo: Arinze Stanley