Last week, as we spoke with Lagos, Nigeria-based artist, Arinze Stanley, for an episode of the Radio Juxtapoz podcast, we could hear the frustration in his voice and yet a powerful dedication to his home country. It was been a complicated year for so many around the globe, and in Nigeria, the last month has seen incredible social unrest with anti-Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) protests, and last week, SARS had open-fired on protestors, resulting in death, lockdowns, curfews and more confusing predicaments of how to move forward.

But Arinze is a special artist, and in a time when he should be celebrating his solo show, Paranomal Portraits, at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, on view through November 7, 2020, he is thinking of home. His artistic statement speaks to a deeper truth in this incredible hyperreal charcoal and graphite works: "My art is born out of the zeal for perfection both in skill, expression, and devotion to create positive changes in the world. I draw inspiration from life experiences and basically everything that sparks a feeling of necessity, I find myself spending countless hours working on artwork to stimulate deep and strong emotions in order to connect more intimately with my viewers." 

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Arinze's work is about speaking to Nigerians about Nigeria, the complicated past and present, and more optimistic future. The deep realness of the works is about expressing the deep love and exploration of the people around him. Stunning in person and elegant in their construction, these works are about what is to be a human, what it means to feel alive and to feel misunderstood. "I work with my Principle of the Three P's namely Patience, Practice, and Persistence," Arinze has said. "These have guided me over the years towards perfecting my craft."