West African Wood Carver, Abdul Aziz Mohamadu
If beauty resides in the details, then Abdul Aziz Mohamadu has more than enough to go around.
His gift as an artist lies in his powers of observation. From a young age, he liked to watch other people engage in the act of artistic creation. He looked on as his college friends painted and discovered that he, too, could bring images to life in acrylics on canvas.
But his artistic career took on new shape and form when he started visiting a skilled carver named Musa in his workshop. It wasn’t just the gorgeous masks and sculptures that captivated his attention. Abdul says, “I’d observe Musa with his workers and saw the joy with which they went about their work.”
This joy became the beating heart of Abdul’s own creative life. One day, while visiting the workshop, he picked up a log of wood and began to carve. What had been only observation quickly became a true passion. Even as he developed his skills as a carver under Musa’s tutelage, he never relinquished his love of painting. This meant that he could embellish his masks with beautiful designs and imagery.
Today, he spreads this love to the five assistants who work with him, as well as the seven other individuals he has trained in the craft of carving.
Even as Abdul’s work has attained incredible success — being featured in exhibits in Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin — his journey is far from over. We can’t wait to see what he creates next.