Micheal Igwe, 2020
In this painting, the artist’s friend - a basketballer aspiring to play professionally - poses in a dimly lit scene. He’s wearing a fake Lakers shirt and has a haughty look on his face.
The dark background is symbolic for the subject’s environment, and the fake shirt represents the quality of options available to someone in such a place. His haughty look masks the fear of what it takes to be a global success from where he has started.
The artist is being self critical. He doubts his friend’s prospects of going pro, but in doing that he’s reminded of his own prospects too.