Valdengrave Okumu is a self-taught artist who works primarily with oil and acrylic mediums. His artwork takes a critical view of social and cultural issues while leaning towards surrealistic and often philosophical themes. His paintings include details that serve to deeply engage the viewer and provide a chance to challenge one’s perceptions, perspectives and assumptions. These works encourage the viewer to delve into the unknown, something we are not comfortable doing. This is accomplished by painting in a way that uses new and unpredictable cycles of thought and associations through juxtaposing seemly unrelated images to a create a harmonious work of art. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work. The inspiration for each painting stems from a wide range of different media (Music, Literature etc.), an event, a work of art or even a passing thought. Once an idea for a painting is conceptualized, he begins to sketch and group together specific themes and meanings. During the research and production phases, new concepts arise and lead to new paintings.
As an artist, he seeks to fully grasp the ability to express his thoughts and ideas through all art tools available to him, not limiting himself to a specific style. His goal is to be employ all that is useful to honestly create thought-provoking and timeless art in natural way.
Valdengrave Okumu began his painting journey in 2014. Painting is an extension of his passion for drawing. He has exhibited his paintings in Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto and has participated and won a few live painting events. Most recently, he represented Toronto at the 2018 National Art Battle Competition. He has participated in a few international art competitions. He placed 3rd for the “Cityscapes, Fusion Art, International art competition”, 1st for “Water, Colors of Humanity International” and was a finalist for the “2017 FASO Boldbrush International Painting Competition”
His style can be described as surreal. Art created through Valdengrave Okumu is very much alive as it places emphasis on technical soundness and storytelling.