Wednesday, September 13, 2023


 "The Mask and the Cross" are artworks created by Bruce Onobrakpeya, set in the final days of colonial Nigeria and shortly after its independence. These works offer a unique African perspective, delving into the underlying teachings, principles, and lessons derived from the life of Christ and the Resurrection of Christ.

The artist refers to these pieces as "New Masks" because they represent his endeavor to reconstruct and re-imagine artworks using ideas from old masks, many of which were discarded and burnt by early Christian missionaries. 
The New Masks by Onobrakpeya retain the aesthetic potency of the original masks, now manifested in various media such as paintings, plastocasts, low relief sculptures, and other techniques that he has developed and  innovated throughout his nearly 65-year artistic career.

These artworks are infused with the same esoteric meanings, conveying a narrative that transcends geographical and chronological boundaries, making them accessible to people of any culture. 

"The Mask and the Cross" serve as narratives that reinterpret the universal essence of goodness by focusing on the core values that should foster a deeper understanding of the Christian message. In these artworks, Jesus Christ and other religious figures are depicted as universal symbols, emphasizing the essence of Christianity rather than being bound by the geographical and anatomical contexts of the Jewish and Roman people.
2nd June 2023

The Solo exhibition by Onobrakpeya  which was extremely well received at the prestigious High Museum in Atlanta, came  to a close, at the end of July. "The Mask and the Cross" is now billed to travel to The Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., in the second quarter of 2024 and the National Museum of Montreal, Canada and Vatican Museum shortly after.

3rd Sept 2023
Mudiare Onobrakpeya