onathan Imafidor was born in Uneme – Nekhua, Southern Nigeria in 1988. He grew up in a rural settlement amidst a vast expanse of tropical vegetation and quiet flowing streams dotted with roaming domesticated animals. His love for nature and how people interacted with it grew tremendously and he spent his early years investigating and creating art from natural found objects. He earned a Bachelor of Art in Painting from Obafemi Awolowo University (with honors) and Master in Philosophy from the same University. He is a recipient of several awards from different International competitions among which is – Winner (Senior Category), American National Day Arts Competition organized by American Embassy in Nigeria in 2010.
Between the periods of 2009 and 2016, Jonathan was a member of an African Art Movement called ‘Araism’ and was very influential to the Movement’s achievements and Philosophical directions within that period and beyond. He has over 10 exhibitions with the Movement and has made presentations in prestigious Art Galleries across Nigeria and the United States of America. He was a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile – Ife, Nigeria, where he taught painting and drawing between 2012 – 2017 before moving to the United States where he now embarks on an MFA Program in Painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, GA.
With over 30 successful exhibitions and 25 public mural projects both in Nigeria and the USA, Jonathan’s distinctive personal style resonates joy and peace and expresses the vibrant spirit of the African Culture. His art immortalizes life and history through an effective combination of color, texture, symbols garnished with deep philosophical undertones. This is evident in his portraits, landscapes, and abstract representations on walls, canvases, wooden panels, and animal hides.
In recent times, he has teamed up with a fellow artist – Dotun Popoola – and they have embarked on a self-imposed journey they term ‘Diary of Two Visual Anthropologists’. They aim to study and experience foreign cultures and highlight the interrelatedness and differences between these cultures with theirs. At the moment, they are exploring the American West and capturing history, tradition, and religion in South Dakota and North Dakota through murals, workshops, and art exhibitions.
Picturesque landscapes, equine themed renditions, buffallos, flowing streams, portraits of heroes and notable personalities are all brought to life with contrasting and harmonious colors and bold compositions in Jonathan’s art. Armed with rich childhood memories from Nigeria and inspired by the Prairie sky, landscape, and the cowboy culture of the American West, some of Jonathan’s public murals could be found in Atlanta GA, Lemmon SD, Faulkton SD, Morristown SD, Hettinger ND, and most recently, Mellette SD.