Uthman Wahaab In the Flesh
Wahaab is known for his masterful rendering of voluptuous and triumphant female bodies that challenge the cultural stereotype of female physique popularized by media and advertisement in West Africa and elsewhere. He has been working on the series Phenomenal Woman and Languishing for the better part of the last decade. During the last twelve months of 2020 and 2021 when any physical contact was deemed dangerous and possibly fatal, Wahaab threw himself into drawings that portrayed the overwhelming and unbound physical presence of the human body. In these drawings, voluptuous bodies, tightly cropped on into the frame, embrace and intertwine; it is not clear where one body begins and another ends. Wahaab comments on how he hopes that these works will invite the viewer “to feel alive after months-long global compulsory isolation.” He speaks of his depiction of the untamed human body, Wahaab references “confrontation”, breaking the boundaries, challenging the norm of what is acceptable.