Williams Chechet goes solo with ‘Heavy is the Head’ exhibition

Williams Chechet, a Nigerian visual artist, is breaking new grounds with his new exhibition entitled, ‘Heavy is the Head’.

The new solo exhibition opens at Soto Gallery from November 25 – December 9, 2022, with an opening reception at 5pm.

“Heavy is the Head” alludes to the famous Shakespearean quote, “Uneasy is the head that wears a crown”. Biblically, it is written, “To whom much is given, much is required now” – Luke 12:48.

According to the artist, the quotes emphasize the burden and responsibility that comes with status and power. When much has been given to you (talent/ability), a lot will be required of you. “There are a variety of ways in which you can fulfill that requirement, but sharing impact is the most crucial step, and as leaders/influencers in any field, we are continually making decisions that affect many others. Let the impact be beneficial.”

Williams Chechet is a visual artist that experiments with Pop Art, culture and afro-futurism, and is interested mainly in black identity and history reimagined in the past, present and the future.

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Chechet fully embraces contemporary culture, the digital future and his own sense of his cultural heritage. His images are bold and engaging, often taken out of their original context through his creative process, and overlapped with colourful symbolism and accessories. In his most recent body of work, the artist explores and intentionally incorporates the faces and characters of Northern Nigeria, its leaders, icons and historically and culturally significant images into his work as a project that enshrine them in popular memory and consciousness – images and figures that have shaped Nigeria’s political history. His work also pays homage to the global pop art movement of the 1960s, with strong references to artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Jean Michel Basquiat. He has exhibited in group exhibitions in America, The United Kingdom, South Africa, and Morocco. Born in Kano and raised in Kaduna in Northern Nigeria, Chechet studied Industrial Design at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was shortlisted for the Art X Lagos Art Prize in 2018.