Williams Chechet gave us an amazing perspective of Northern Nigeria with his latest art project titled:
WE ARE THE NORTH.
We are the North is a series of beautiful Northern Nigerian illustrations influenced by pop art. (Pop art involves imagery from popular culture being visually removed from its known context, isolated, and/or combined with unrelated material.)
In this project, he made us see the North in a new light and we came to recognize the beauty that the north holds.
Who is Williams Chechet.
Born and raised in Kaduna, Williams Abrak Chechet is a multi talented designer, illustrator, and muralist with a string of globally acclaimed contemporary art pieces to his name.
He is the individual behind the gorgeous graffiti in Hard Rock Cafe, Lagos Born, the best of MTV Base’s murals and most of M.I Abaga’s astonishing album covers.
Williams grew up drawing and painting but didn’t think he’d pursue art as a profession. During his secondary school and university days he got more involved in with.
Williams decided to focus on art when he gave up his degree in Building Engineering in his third year to study Industrial Design at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and his Northern heritage is very evident in his recent works.
Before his formal training through studying Industrial Design, Williams was self-taught for a while, discovering his style by studying the great artists and researching their abilities that set them apart from their peers while telling their stories or expressing themselves through art.
His family and relatives didn’t always support Williams’ love for art. This is why he didn’t start studying Fine Arts but when he made the change, the journey has been a smoother one for him ever since.
Williams’ art is a lot of post-pop art mixed with Afro-Futurism and this was influenced by the cultural influences he imbibed while growing up in Nigeria.
Williams strongly believes that art has the power to heal, inspire, bring people together. He wants to give back to the community by inspiring younger designers to master and pursue their passions in art.
Williams perceives our culture and heritage as rich and worthy to be shared with the world. He has chosen to tell these stories by fusing western pop art and traditional African elements.
Art is everything!!!
Art means a lot to Williams, he says in his Ndani Lifestyle Interview.
Art is a form of expression and communication. It is the creative way I express my deepest emotions, passions, feelings, and thoughts. Art gives me the freedom to use my wildest imaginations while giving me the courage to conquer my fears. To me, everything around our physical space is art but we just don’t realize it.
Being an artist in Africa.
Africa has influenced his work. He says in an interview with Pop Caven,
Africa has inspired my style a lot, the knowledge of Africa and its contributions to art history. Africa has a rich history and culture I feel everyone in the world needs to know.
I grew up an artist/designer making creations similar to western art from watching cartoons and reading comics. The works of the renowned Lemi Ghwariokwu changed my art world view.
My dad’s Fela album covers lying around the house inspired me to start illustrations. The Art, music, culture, and history of Africa have contributed to my style.
After careful thought and planning, Williams brings his ideas to life. Williams is his own biggest critic, constantly asking questions to ensure that his work is of the best standard.
Uniquely, we could visualize the North’s rich heritage in Williams fusion of pop art and Afro-futurism.
At 35, Williams Chechet has established his name in the art scene with works that redefine our view of history.
© 2017, Ona Akinde. All rights reserved.