Interview By Danny Dunson, Artx
New York based artist Ludovic Nkoth’s work is heavily informed by life events which led him to move from his native home of Cameroon to the United States when he was 13. Leaving his birth-family and siblings, he found solace and comfort in the creative process while being raised primarily as “a stranger in a strange land”. It wasn’t until he migrated to the United States that he began to reconsider his own culture as a catalyst to locate his identity.
For Ludovic, who learned to speak English as a teenager in a world completely alien to him, still, at times, he finds himself displaced in his adopted country. In the US he is viewed as an African, but in Africa, he is viewed American—leaving the passionate young artist in a sort of ambiguous and cyclical displacement of identity. Given the contentious issues of identity, patriotism, Confederate ideologies and racial bias growing in the States in this contemporary moment, his paintings that present his perspective become increasingly relevant.
As such, the work presents a complex but highly personal investigation of a very personalized view of Africa; his family history; and the cultures, traditions, and ideas of Africa and its diaspora pre-and post-colonialism. They are approached with a type of naive brusqueness, an immediacy and boldness of color that suggests both a passion and sense of discovery. African symbols such as masks, patterns, and other symbols of identity and culture remain consistent throughout.